I Filed My Taxes. When Will I Get My Refund?

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The IRS announced they started accepting tax returns for processing on January 27, 2020. If you are one of the early filers, you’re probably wondering where your refund is.

While an exact date can’t be specified and the IRS doesn’t provide a calendar, the sooner you file, the better. 

The IRS does state that 90% of tax refunds are processed within 21 days from the date of filing.

Make sure you know the important dates and deadlines for this year’s tax season.

What if I E-filed?

Filing your taxes electronically with tax software such as TurboTax is the fastest method to receive your refund. 

Once you’ve clicked the Submit button, your taxes are immediately available for processing. You should also receive an e-mail confirmation once your return has been accepted by the IRS.

Opting to receive your refund by direct deposit is the best and safest way to get your refund, which can be in as little as 8 days and up to 21 days from the date you filed your taxes.

What if I Filed with Paper Forms?

Mailing in your return is more difficult to predict when you’ll receive your refund. 

First, it depends on how quickly it travels through the postal service.

Then someone has to input or scan all your information. 

The Treasury then issues and mails a check back to you.

This entire process generally takes between 6 – 8 weeks after filing before you can expect to receive your refund back.

What Can Cause a Delay in My Refund?

If you filed with paper forms and they’re not completed, or some information is incorrect, you will need to amend your forms and start the process over again, causing a delay.

A law was also passed last year by Congress for all tax refunds that include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). 

Tax returns claiming the EITC and ACTC will be held onto until February 15, 2020. 

This was passed to protect against identity theft and tax fraud.

This law applies to both paper and electronic filing, so even if you filed your taxes on the first day, you shouldn’t expect your refund until at least February 15, 2020.

The IRS issued a press release here stating that people held up by this delay shouldn’t expect to receive their refunds until the week of February 24, 2020, if there are no other problems with the tax returns.

How Do I Check the Status of My Refund?

If you’re waiting to know if your tax return has been accepted, or if your refund is on its way, you can use the IRS free tool to track your status.

To check your refund status, you’ll need to input these three pieces of information:

  • Your Social Security number or individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Your filing status
  • The exact refund amount you’re due
The IRS updates its systems on a daily basis.

What About My State Refund?

Each state handles tax returns differently, and processing times vary among states.

Submitting both your federal and state returns at the same time does not guarantee you’ll receive your refunds at the same time.

State refunds can be issued any time from a few days to a few months after submitting your return.

Check your individual state’s government website to track the status of your state refund.

You’ll likely need to input your Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, as well as the exact refund amount. Some states also ask for additional identification such as your date of birth, filing status, ZIP code, and the year of your return.

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