I Filed My Taxes. When Can I Expect My Tax Refund?

This post is a guest blog post by Lisa Greene-Lewis, CPA, Turbox Blog Editor and Spokesperson.This is a post written by TurboTax. The views expressed below are theirs.

So you’ve made it through the holidays, set (and hopefully not broken) your new year’s resolutions, and got a jump-start on the new year by filing your taxes.

Now that you hit the e-file button you may be wondering, “where’s my refund?” and “how do I track it?”

Date to know. The IRS will begin processing tax returns on January 23rd this year, so the first refunds won’t be received until after this date.

E-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund.  According to the IRS, eight in 10 taxpayers get their refunds faster1 by using e-file with direct deposit. The IRS expects to issue more than nine out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days or less after acceptance.2What you need to check status.  You can begin checking the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool 24 to 48 hours after you e-filed and the IRS begins accepting returns. The IRS tool will ask for your social security number or ITIN, filing status, and your refund amount.  If you mail a paper tax return you will not be able to start checking the status of your tax refund for 4 weeks.

Stages in tax refund processing.  Once the IRS begins to accept tax returns, your return will progress through 3 stages – “Return Received,” “Refund Approved,” and (congratulations!) “Refund Sent.”  The IRS will provide a personalized refund date once your status moves to “Refund Approved.”

Hopefully this information will help you better understand how tax refunds are processed and when you can expect to receive yours.

1. Faster access to funds is based on comparison of NetSpend’s immediate availability policy versus the typical banking practice of only posting funds after settlement. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds are subject to payor’s support of this feature and timing of payor’s funding. Check with your payor to find out when the direct deposit of funds will start.

2. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, signed into law in December 2015, requires the IRS to hold tax refunds that include Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15, 2017, however most taxpayers will not be impacted by the change in the law.

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