What to Expect for Refunds This Year | Internal Revenue Service

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What to Expect for Refunds This Year | Internal Revenue Service

What to Expect for Refunds This Year | Internal Revenue Service

The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer.

If Your Refund Isn’t What You Expected

If your refund amount isn’t what you expected, it may be due to changes we made to your tax return. These may include:

  • Corrections to any Recovery Rebate Credit or Child Tax Credit amounts
  • Payments on past-due tax or debts, offset from all or part of the refund amount

For more details, see Tax Season Refunds Frequently Asked Questions.

Where's My Refund?

You can find the most up to date information about your refund on Where’s My Refund. The tool is updated daily so you don’t need to check more often.

You can use the tool to check the status of your return within:

  • 24 hours after e-filing a tax year 2021 return
  • 3 or 4 days after e-filing a tax year 2020 or 2019 return
  • 6 months or more after filing a paper return

Where’s My Refund? has a tracker that displays progress through 3 stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.

You will get personalized refund information based on the processing of your tax return. The tool will provide an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund.

Our phone and walk-in representatives can research the status of your refund if:

  • It’s been 21 days or more since you filed electronically.
  • It’s been over 6 months since you mailed your paper return.
  • The Where’s My Refund? tool says we can provide more information to you over the phone.

Direct Deposit

Join the nine in 10 taxpayers who get their refunds faster by using e-file and direct deposit. It's always been the safest, fastest way to receive your refund, but is even more so in these uncertain times. It is also easy to use. Just select it as your refund method through your tax software and type in the account number and routing number. Or, tell your tax preparer you want direct deposit. You can even use direct deposit if you are one of the few people still filing by paper. Be sure to double check your entry to avoid errors.

Your routing and account numbers can be found on the bottom of your checks, through your online banking application or by contacting your financial institution directly. Do not enter the number on your bank card.

If you have a prepaid debit card, you may be able to have your refund applied to the card. Many reloadable prepaid cards have account and routing numbers that you could provide to the IRS. You would need to check with the financial institution to ensure your card can be used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.

Your refund should only be deposited directly into U.S. bank or U.S. bank affiliated accounts that are in your own name; your spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account. No more than three electronic refunds can be deposited into a single financial account or pre-paid debit card. Taxpayers who exceed the limit will receive an IRS notice and a paper refund.

Whether you file electronically or on paper, direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check. Refunds that are direct deposited are not delayed for disaster and other weather-related events affecting mail delivery.

Form 1042-S, Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding

If you requested a refund of tax withheld on a Form 1042-S by filing a Form 1040NR, we will need additional time to process the return. Please allow up to 6 months from the original due date of the 1040NR return or the date you actually filed the 1040NR, whichever is later to receive any refund due.

Additional Information

  • Publication 2043, IRS Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation CommunityPDF

Refund Related

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