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How Long Does It Take To Get Tax Refund?

It takes less than three weeks for the IRS to send over 90% of taxpayer refunds. There is no guarantee that you will receive your tax refund within 21 days. So when will you receive your refund? Read on to know!
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How Long Does It Take To Get Tax Refund?
Refunds are eagerly awaited by those who are owed them. See if you will receive your refund within a certain period of time by reading this guide.
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When will you see that tax refund hit your account? You’re not alone! Most taxpayers eagerly await their refund, and the good news is the IRS issues refunds for over 90% of taxpayers within 3 weeks if they file electronically and choose direct deposit.

This guide will explain how long you can expect to wait for your refund and what factors can affect the processing timeline. We’ll also cover how to track your refund progress and what to do with your windfall once you receive it!

In this guide, you’ll learn the following:

  • How long it typically takes to get a tax refund
  • How to choose the fastest refund method
  • Factors that can delay your refund
  • How to track your refund status
  • What to do with your tax refund

When Will I Receive My Tax Refund?

It takes less than three weeks for the IRS to send over 90% of taxpayer refunds. There is no guarantee that you will receive your tax refund within 21 days. However, you can anticipate receiving your tax refund within a few weeks, depending on several factors.

If in case you owe the IRS a refund, you get to choose how to receive it. The following options are available to you:

  • Refunds are deposited directly into your checking or savings account (this is the fastest way to receive your refund).
  • Paper check sent through the mail.
  • A debit card with the refund amount on it.
  • Take advantage of a $5,000 purchase limit on US savings bonds.
  • If you are entitled to a refund, you can split it up between up to three accounts in your name, such as a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and SEP-IRA.
  • A health savings account (HSA), a military savings account (MSA), or a Coverdell education savings account (ESA) can be used to save for higher education.

It is important to choose a delivery option for your tax refund that will affect how quickly you receive your funds. In order to receive your refund as fast as possible, the IRS recommends combining the direct deposit method with an electronic tax return.

The Process of Tax Refunds

According to your filing and delivery choices, here is an estimated breakdown of when you can expect to receive your tax refund.

Estimated Delivery Times for Federal Tax Refunds

Filing MethodDelivery OptionEstimated Wait Time
E-fileDirect Deposit1-3 weeks
E-filePaper Check Mailed1 month
Paper FileDirect Deposit3 weeks
Paper FilePaper Check Mailed2 months

What other factors affect refund time

You may also experience delays with your tax refund if you file an incorrect return, do not complete your return or commit fraud.

There are special rules that require the IRS to hold refunds if you claim the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC). When the IRS determines that your tax return needs further review, you can also expect to wait longer for your refund.

Depending on the error or special handling required, it could take more than four months for the IRS to issue a refund. There are some tax returns that require special handling, including those with incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amounts and those that claim the EITC or ACTC. Any return that is under suspicion of identity theft or fraud may also face delay.

Whenever the IRS contacts you via mail asking for more information or verifying your return, please respond promptly. The longer it takes you to respond to the refund request, the longer it will take to process.

Processing delays associated with the pandemic may delay a refund by more than 20 weeks if you file an amended tax form.

See also about: how long does it take for a check to deposit

How to Track Your Refund Progress

By creating IRS2Go, an app that tracks your tax return status, the IRS has eliminated the guesswork associated with waiting for your refund. You can also check your refund status through the “Where’s My Refund?” option on the tax portal.

Using both tools, taxpayers can access daily updates within 24 to 36 hours after submitting an e-file return. Alternatively, you can check within four weeks after a paper return has been received by the IRS.

Using some basic information (such as your Social Security number or ITIN, filing status and refund amount), you can track your refund’s progress:

  1. Received the return.
  2. Approved refund.
  3. A refund has been sent.

In the third stage of the refund process, you’ll need to wait for your financial institution to process a direct deposit or mail you a paper check.

What to Do Once You Get Your Refund

Many people receive their biggest check of the year when they receive their tax refund from the IRS. Having a plan for how you’re going to utilize your refund is a good idea in advance of your windfall. Planning ahead can help you resist the shopping impulse by deciding how to spend, save, or invest the money.

Refunds are yours to use however you wish. Use it for day-to-day expenses or to invest for long-term financial security.

File with Beem

File your taxes with Beem. Estimate your Federal and State taxes with Beem’s Free Tax Calculator. Enjoy hassle-free tax filing with 100% accuracy and get the maximum refund for a nominal fee. Get started now.

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Team Beem

Team Beem brings you the latest in the world of personal finance to you. From tips and tricks on how to manage money to how to get cash for emergencies, Beem is your destination for all the information you need to be smart about your money.

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This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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