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 in 2013 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. Remember, this is only an estimation, and not a guarantee.
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 20 and Jan 30, 2015||Feb 11, 2015||Feb 13, 2015|
|Feb 07 and Feb 13, 2015||Feb 18, 2015||Feb 20, 2015|
|Feb 14 and Feb 20, 2015||Feb 25, 2015||Feb 27, 2015|
|Feb 21 and Feb 27, 2015||Mar 4, 2015||Mar 6, 2015|
|Feb 28 and Mar 06, 2015||Mar 11, 2015||Mar 13, 2015|
|Mar 07 and Mar 13, 2015||Mar 18, 2015||Mar 20, 2015|
|Mar 14 and Mar 20, 2015||Mar 25, 2015||Mar 27, 2015|
|Mar 21 and Mar 27, 2015||Apr 1, 2015||Apr 3, 2015|
|Mar 28 and Apr 03, 2015||Apr 8, 2015||Apr 10, 2015|
|Apr 04 and Apr 10, 2015||Apr 15, 2015||Apr 17, 2015|
|Apr 11 and Apr 17, 2015||Apr 22, 2015||Apr 24, 2015|
|Apr 18 and Apr 24, 2015||Apr 29, 2015||May 1, 2015|
|Apr 25 and May 01, 2015||May 6, 2015||May 8, 2015|
|May 02 and May 08, 2015||May 13, 2015||May 15, 2015|
|May 09 and May 15, 2015||May 20, 2015||May 22, 2015|
|May 16 and May 22, 2015||May 27, 2015||May 29, 2015|
|May 23 and May 29, 2015||Jun 3, 2015||Jun 5, 2015|
|May 31 and Jun 05, 2015||Jun 10, 2015||Jun 12, 2015|
|Jun 06 and Jun 12, 2015||Jun 17, 2015||Jun 19, 2015|
|Jun 13 and Jun 19, 2015||Jun 24, 2015||Jun 26, 2015|
|Jun 20 and Jun 26, 2015||Jul 1, 2015||Jul 3, 2015|
|Jun 27 and Jul 03, 2015||Jul 8, 2015||Jul 10, 2015|
|Jul 04 and Jul 10, 2015||Jul 15, 2015||Jul 17, 2015|
|Jul 11 and Jul 17, 2015||Jul 22, 2015||Jul 24, 2015|
|Jul 18 and Jul 24, 2015||Jul 29, 2015||Jul 31, 2015|
|Jul 25 and Jul 31, 2015||Aug 5, 2015||Aug 7, 2015|
|Aug 01 and Aug 07, 2015||Aug 12, 2015||Aug 14, 2015|
|Aug 08 and Aug 14, 2015||Aug 19, 2015||Aug 21, 2015|
|Aug 15 and Aug 21, 2015||Aug 26, 2015||Aug 28, 2015|
|Aug 22 and Aug 28, 2015||Sep 2, 2015||Sep 4, 2015|
|Aug 29 and Sep 04, 2015||Sep 9, 2015||Sep 11, 2015|
|Sep 05 and Sep 11, 2015||Sep 16, 2015||Sep 18, 2015|
|Sep 12 and Sep 18, 2015||Sep 23, 2015||Sep 25, 2015|
|Sep 19 and Sep 25, 2015||Sep 30, 2015||Oct 2, 2015|
|Sep 26 and Oct 02, 2015||Oct 7, 2015||Oct 9, 2015|
|Oct 03 and Oct 09, 2015||Oct 14, 2015||Oct 17, 2015|
|Oct 10 and Oct 16, 2015||Oct 21, 2015||Oct 23, 2015|
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. Please note the IRS only updates the status of your refund once a week, on Wednesdays. So checking back several times a day throughout the week won’t normally give you any new information. 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.