You filed your taxes, wondering: where’s my refund? This is one of the most common tax questions we receive, and it’s an important one. And as tax day approaches this year, you might be asking yourself: how long should my refund take? And what do all these tax statuses mean, anyway? That’s the status of your federal tax refund that you can check on the IRS Web site. But what does it mean? And when will you get your money?
If you file electronically and provide direct-deposit information to the IRS, most refunds are sent within 21 days after the return is received. If you file a paper return, it could take six to eight weeks.
If it’s been longer than 21 days since you filed electronically and provided direct-deposit information to the IRS, check on your refund. Suppose it’s been longer than eight weeks since you mailed a paper return but have not received anything from the IRS about your refund.
Suppose you filed your tax return electronically and requested a direct deposit refund. In that case, the IRS says that most taxpayers who file online will have their federal tax refunds deposited in less than 21 days from the time the IRS acknowledges receipt of their return. Most state tax refunds are issued within three weeks after the state agency accepts the e-filed return.
What is the meaning of your tax return still being processed? A refund date will be provided when available.
- The IRS needs more time to process your tax return. This could mean that you made a mistake on your return, the IRS found a mistake, or the IRS is double-checking some items.
- Usually, this message is displayed when there are complications with your tax return. Be patient if you get this message during early February (January 15 through February 5). The government can open late and delay the processing of tax returns.
- It depends on how long the IRS takes to process your tax return. The time frame could be two days or two months! Make sure you’re frequently checking if you want to know the status of your refund check. It’s not unusual for people to wait six weeks before they see money deposited into their bank account or receive a check in the mail.
However, some variables can slow your refund down. For example, this year, there’s been a delay in processing paper returns due to efforts to fight fraud and identity theft, which means that taxpayers who file on paper may see longer wait times for their refunds.
For the third year in a row, the IRS is experiencing a delay in processing paper returns. This year, it’s because the IRS is in full-fraud-fighting mode. Everyone wants their refund as soon as possible. However, some variables can slow your refund down. For example, this year, there’s been a delay in processing paper returns due to efforts to fight fraud and identity theft, which means that taxpayers who file on paper may see longer wait times for their refunds.
They are working hard to minimize this impact on affected taxpayers to get their refunds as quickly as possible. In addition to routine anti-fraud measures like comparing tax return data against third-party source documents such as W-2 forms and addresses with postal records, they’ve added extra layers of security, including additional reviews both before and after returns, which are accepted.
While these steps help protect taxpayers from fraud and identity theft, they also result in stronger levels of review across all tax returns. For those claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, you will not see your refund before February 15. It’s all because of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act).
The PATH Act was put into place to protect taxpayers from fraud and identity theft. The IRS has to hold refunds for taxpayers that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit until mid-February to allow more time to verify income levels and other information claimed on these returns.
You can track your refund status using Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov or through our mobile app, IRS2Go. You can also use our free Interactive Tax Assistant tool on IRS.gov, which asks a series of simple questions and provides answers about many tax law topics, including tax credits like EITC and ACTC, and general tax topics like filing requirements and dependents.
Your tax return is still being processed after 21 days.
If you received this message, your tax return is still being processed. We will provide a personalized refund date as soon as we determine one.
While there are many reasons why your tax return may still be processing, the most common are:
- Your tax return was incomplete and is being reviewed by the IRS.
- Your tax return was flagged for review by the IRS due to information on your tax return that doesn’t match the information provided by your employer or financial institution.
Your tax return is still being processed. A refund date will be provided when available in 2022
Suppose you filed your tax return electronically and requested a direct deposit refund. In that case, the IRS says that most taxpayers who file online will have their federal tax refunds deposited in less than 21 days from the time the IRS acknowledges receipt of their return. Most state tax refunds are issued within three weeks after the accepted e-filed federal return.
You can check on your federal refund status 24 hours after receiving an e-filed acknowledgment or four weeks after mailing a paper return by visiting the refund option on the IRS. You should also be able to check on your state refund status at your state’s revenue department website or by phone.
IRS tax return statuses
When the IRS begins to process your return, the status will read “being processed.” This means that they have everything they need from you, and now it is their turn to do what they need to do with your information before sending you your refund check or deposit. You should wait until they are done reviewing everything before getting excited about receiving an immediate update on your refund status.
How long does it take for a state tax refund? Each state has its processing times, although all states run on a similar timeline as the federal government.
If you filed electronically or mailed your return by January 31 (before the February 1 deadline) this year, you should be able to check your refund date using our Where’s My Refund? App around 24 hours after successful electronic filing or four weeks after mailing a paper return.
This year, taxpayers claiming certain credits, like the earned income credit or child tax credit, will not see their refunds early. Congress passed legislation requiring this delay to allow time to verify income levels and other information claimed on these returns.