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When Will I Get My Tax Refund?

by Ryan Guina

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

This table cuts off after the final tax filing deadline for extensions, which is October 15th this year. Here is the full IRS EFile Tax Refund Schedule.

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.

Published or updated January 31, 2014.
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shilpan

I always use Turbo tax and choose to file online. For the past five years, I’ve received my refund within few weeks. This year, I am making sure that I don’t lend IRS money interest free. :)


2 Tyler S.

I’ve always been a TurboTax fan as well, and their program has been reliable every time. I usually get my returns pretty fast too, possibly a bonus from filing early.


3 jacob

I have tried to be patient. I am still waiting and I feel like I am getting the run around.


4 Donny Gamble

As an entrepreneur I try to wait as long as possible to file because I always fear how much money I will owe from all of my gains over the course of the year. I have hired a CPA that knows how to find taxable deductions for entrepreneurs so hopefully it will pan out to be a wise investment.


5 Ryan Guina

You may want to look into paying estimated taxes if you think you may owe each year. It’s usually not a problem if you don’t owe the government much money. But if you owe too much, or if you consistently underpay due to business income, then you may be subject to penalties or fees. Something took into, especially if your company continues to grow!


6 Bryce @ Save and Conquer

It doesn’t seem like we really need a table to tell us that refunds are sent out roughly a week after our efile has been accepted by the IRS.


7 kenneth mcneely

I have been waiting 2weeks for my refund.I filed 2/15/14 and now its 3/1/14.I look at wheres my refund and its still on the first bar we received expect check date is the 8 of march does this means im approved to get my fund wth



I filed my taxes April 11th 2014 the IRS received and started processing my return on April 16th 2014 its been 8 days since it been processing does that mean something is wrong because my status hasn’t. Changes yet. An someone help me understand this my first time e filing my taxes with turbo tax


9 Mia galloway

I filed. 2/16/14 all it says is we can not provide any information at this time I recieved my state on 4/18/14 still waiting on federal can’t understand why it has not arrived already


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