During the 2020 tax season, the IRS issued more than $300 billion in tax refunds averaging $2,535 per return. Generally, you can expect to receive your tax refund less than 21 days after filing electronically. But if you file a paper tax return, expect delays.
For tax year 2020 ( taxes filed in 2021) the IRS will start accepting returns on February 12th, 2021. We’ve based these timelines on historical data noting that most refunds will be issued by the IRS in less than 21 days after the return has been accepted.
Most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days, as long as the return doesn’t require further review, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Refund information will typically be available within 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an electronically filed return or four weeks if you mail a paper return.
What’s Taking So Long? If you don’t receive your refund in 21 days, your tax return might need further review. This may happen if your return was incomplete or incorrect. The IRS may send you instructions through the mail if it needs additional information in order to process your return.
For 2020, the first refunds (if you claimed the EITC or ACTC) aren’t available in taxpayer bank accounts until the first week of March. If the hold is because you filed before mid-February, there is no need to worry. The hold is not a result of mistakes or problems with your return.
By law, the IRS cannot issue tax refunds to those filing the Earned Income Tax Credit until Feb. 15. But if the processing begins on Feb. People can still prepare and file returns electronically but the IRS isn’t going to move the returns through the system until much later than usual.
Those who regularly file their taxes online and are set up with direct deposit are most likely to get their refunds the fastest — the IRS says within 21 days, assuming there are no problems. The IRS says those who e-file will generally be able to use the “Where’s My Refund” page within about 24 hours of submission.
2021 IRS refund schedule chart
|Date taxes accepted||Direct deposit sent||Paper check mailed|
|March 21 – March 27||April 9||April 16|
|March 28 – April 3||April 16||April 23|
|April 4 – April 10||April 23||April 30|
|April 11 – April 17||April 30||May 7|
IRS Free File opens. Taxpayers can begin filing returns through Free File partners; tax returns will be transmitted to the IRS starting Feb. 12. Tax software companies also are accepting tax filings in advance. January 29.
Accepted means your tax return is now in the government’s hands and has passed the initial inspection (your verification info is correct, dependents haven’t already been claimed by someone else, etc.). After acceptance, the next step is for the government to approve your refund.
shows the status of my refund is Return Received? This means the IRS has your tax return and is processing it. Your personalized refund date will be available as soon as the IRS finishes processing your return and confirms that your refund has been approved. Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days.
No. Once your return is accepted by the IRS, it can ‘t be rejected. If anything, they may send a letter or notice requesting additional support if needed.
If your tax return status is ” Still Being Processed ” your tax return could be essentially on hold until the IRS corrects any issues and/or gets the additional information from you to continue processing your return.
The agency is still sending out payments based on information submitted through a non-filers tool or as the result of 2019 returns that are being processed. So, it’s possible your check really is in the mail or will soon be direct deposited into your bank account.
Tax Topic 152 means you’re getting a tax refund. The IRS has given guidelines this year that 90% of tax filers should receive their refund within 21 days of filing. The IRS works weekends during tax season, so it’s 21 days, not “business days”. If you want a good estimate, check out our tax refund calendar for 2020.