If you file your taxes with the IRS EFile, or with an tax software program that files your taxes online for you, then you are in luck – you will generally receive your tax refund much more quickly than if you file your taxes by mail. The reason is that electronic tax returns are easier for the IRS to process, making it faster for them to clear the books on your tax return and send you a refund—via either an ACH transaction or by check.
IRS E-File – When Will I Get My Tax Refund?
How long does it take to get your tax refund? In past years, the IRS created a schedule for when they will send out federal tax refunds via direct deposit or by check. The general rule of thumb is that direct deposits will be sent out a few days before paper checks are sent out (the delay for a paper check can actually take up to one week, depending on how many refunds the IRS has to process).
When will funds be available? Direct deposits are faster than paper checks. However, keep in mind it may take a few days for your financial institution to make your deposit available to you. Paper checks also have a delay for fund availability: it may take several days for the check to arrive in the mail, then another few days after you deposit he check before the funds are available.
IRS E-File Schedule for Tax Refunds via Check or Direct Deposits
As alluded to above, the IRS previously released an annual schedule to help tax payers better plan around tax season so tax-filers will know when they can expect to receive their refund check. They stopped this practice last year after there were delays in the refund process due to new anti-fraud measures.
The table below shows an approximation of when your federal tax refund should be direct deposited into your bank account, or the date your check will be mailed. This table is based on previous tax return charts.
How to use this tax refund chart: This schedule only applies to tax returns filed electronically. The left column represents the date your tax refund was accepted by the IRS.
|IRS accepts your return (by 11:00 am) between…||Direct Deposit Sent||Paper Check Mailed|
|Jan 31 and Feb 08, 2014||Feb 12, 2014||Feb 14, 2014|
|Feb 09 and Feb 15, 2014||Feb 19, 2014||Feb 21, 2014|
|Feb 16 and Feb 22, 2014||Feb 26, 2014||Feb 28, 2014|
|Feb 23 and Mar 01, 2014||Mar 5, 2014||Mar 7, 2014|
|Mar 02 and Mar 08, 2014||Mar 12, 2014||Mar 14, 2014|
|Mar 09 and Mar 15, 2014||Mar 19, 2014||Mar 21, 2014|
|Mar 16 and Mar 22, 2014||Mar 26, 2014||Mar 28, 2014|
|Mar 23 and Mar 29, 2014||Apr 2, 2014||Apr 4, 2014|
|Mar 30 and Apr 05, 2014||Apr 9, 2014||Apr 11, 2014|
|Apr 06 and Apr 12, 2014||Apr 16, 2014||Apr 18, 2014|
|Apr 13 and Apr 19, 2014||Apr 23, 2014||Apr 25, 2014|
|Apr 20 and Apr 26, 2014||Apr 30, 2014||May 2, 2014|
|Apr 27 and May 03, 2014||May 7, 2014||May 9, 2014|
|May 04 and May 10, 2014||May 14, 2014||May 16, 2014|
|May 11 and May 17, 2014||May 21, 2014||May 23, 2014|
|May 18 and May 24, 2014||May 28, 2014||May 30, 2014|
|May 25 and May 31, 2014||Jun 4, 2014||Jun 6, 2014|
|Jun 01 and Jun 07, 2014||Jun 11, 2014||Jun 13, 2014|
|Jun 08 and Jun 14, 2014||Jun 18, 2014||Jun 20, 2014|
|Jun 15 and Jun 21, 2014||Jun 25, 2014||Jun 27, 2014|
|Jun 22 and Jun 28, 2014||Jul 2, 2014||Jul 4, 2014|
|Jun 29 and Jul 05, 2014||Jul 9, 2014||Jul 11, 2014|
|Jul 06 and Jul 12, 2014||Jul 16, 2014||Jul 18, 2014|
|Jul 13 and Jul 19, 2014||Jul 23, 2014||Jul 25, 2014|
|Jul 20 and Jul 26, 2014||Jul 30, 2014||Aug 1, 2014|
|Jul 27 and Aug 02, 2014||Aug 6, 2014||Aug 8, 2014|
|Aug 03 and Aug 09, 2014||Aug 13, 2014||Aug 15, 2014|
|Aug 10 and Aug 16, 2014||Aug 20, 2014||Aug 22, 2014|
|Aug 17 and Aug 23, 2014||Aug 27, 2014||Aug 29, 2014|
|Aug 24 and Aug 30, 2014||Sep 3, 2014||Sep 5, 2014|
|Aug 31 and Sep 06, 2014||Sep 10, 2014||Sep 12, 2014|
|Sep 07 and Sep 13, 2014||Sep 17, 2014||Sep 19, 2014|
|Sep 14 and Sep 20, 2014||Sep 24, 2014||Sep 26, 2014|
|Sep 21 and Sep 27, 2014||Oct 1, 2014||Oct 3, 2014|
|Sep 28 and Oct 04, 2014||Oct 8, 2014||Oct 10, 2014|
|Oct 05 and Oct 11, 2014||Oct 15, 2014||Oct 18, 2014|
|Oct 12 and Oct 18, 2014||Oct 22, 2014||Oct 24, 2014|
Some important notes about this tax refund schedule: This is only good when you E-File your taxes because the IRS will notify you of the date of acceptance – generally within 72 hours of receipt. Tax returns sent on paper forms must be manually entered into the IRS computers and there is no way to track the date of acceptance, so this chart won’t work for estimating which day your tax return will be sent.
The other important thing to note is that IRS refund checks are processed fairly quickly, usually within 1-2 weeks. This is just one more reason to say no to refund anticipation loans.
Where is My IRS Refund Check?
You can check the status of your federal tax refund as soon as 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return. The quickest and easiest way to get this information is to go to the Where’s My Refund page. Or, call 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477.
Want a Bigger Tax Refund?
If the idea of a larger tax refund sounds appealing to you, then you may wish to open a Traditional IRA, which can not only help you save money for retirement, but it can also help you receive a larger tax refund, as up to $5,000 worth of contributions are tax deductible ($6k if you are over 50 years of age). Reducing your taxable income by several thousand dollars is worth a nice chunk of change in your tax return next year. If you want to learn more, then here are some top IRA companies, where you can open an IRA.