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When Will I Get My Tax Refund?

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

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. 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.


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