The IRS issues most refunds in fewer than 21 days for taxpayers who file electronically and choose direct deposit. However, some returns have errors or need more review and may take longer to process. The IRS works hard to get refunds to taxpayers quickly, but taxpayers shouldn’t rely on getting a refund by a certain date.
Things that can delay a refund:
- The return has errors, is incomplete or is affected by identity theft or fraud.
- The return needs a correction to the child tax credit or recovery rebate credit amount.
- The return has a claim filed for an earned income tax credit, additional child tax credit, or includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.
- The time it takes a taxpayer’s bank or credit union to post the refund to the taxpayer’s account.
The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if it needs more information to process their return.
The fastest way to get a tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit. People who don’t have a bank account can learn about opening an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or the National Credit Union Locator tool.
Taxpayers can check the status of their refund online.
To check the status of a refund, taxpayers should use the Where’s My Refund? tool on IRS.gov. If taxpayers file electronically, they should wait twenty-four hours before checking the status of their refund. If taxpayers file a paper return, they should wait four weeks before checking the status.
IRS representatives on the phone and at Taxpayer Assistance Centers can only research the status of a refund if:
- It’s been 21 days or more since the taxpayer filed the return electronically.
- It’s been six weeks or more since the taxpayer mailed the return.
- The Where’s My Refund? tool tells the taxpayer to contact the IRS.