Refund Schedule

The Internal Revenue Services tries to issue and send tax refunds as soon as the agency possibly can. Check the IRS Refund Schedule to see when you will get your refund.

How soon you’re going to get your tax refund depends on when and how you file taxes as well as how you chose to receive your tax refund. If you filed taxes electronically, the chances of you getting your tax refund in less than 2 weeks is very high. This is for those who are also opted to get their tax refunds direct deposited.

So, if you e-file and get your tax refund direct deposited, you won’t wait more than three weeks in most cases. When you file your federal income tax return also matters. File taxes early so that you get your tax refund sent as early as possible.

Take a look at the table below to see the IRS schedule to send tax refunds. This is an estimate of when the IRS is likely to send your tax refund. Depending on your tax return, when and how you file may have an effect on the schedule.

File and Refund DeliveryWaiting Period (from the date IRS receives your return)
Mailed Return and Direct Deposit21 days
Mailed Return and Refund Check2 months
e-File and Direct Deposit7 to 21 days
e-File and Refund Check1 month
File and Refund Delivery

How to File a Refund Claim

Filing a refund claim typically involves a process that requires careful attention to detail. To begin filing a refund claim, you should first identify the agency or company from which you are seeking the refund. Whether it’s a tax authority or a business, most entities have specific forms or online portals where you can initiate your claim.

  1. Locate the appropriate form or online service. This is often available on the official website of the entity.
  2. Fill out the form with all the required information. This typically includes your name, contact information, and details about the transaction or product for which you are seeking a refund.
  3. Review your claim to ensure all provided information is accurate and complete.
  4. Submit the claim as per the instructions. This could be via an online submission, mail, or in some cases, in person.

Refund Claim Documentation Requirements

Proper documentation is crucial when filing a refund claim. Here’s what you typically need:

  • Proof of Purchase: Receipts, order numbers, or confirmation emails.
  • Identification: A copy of a government-issued ID to verify your identity.
  • Reason for Refund: A clear explanation of why you are requesting a refund.
  • Supporting Evidence: Any additional documentation that supports your claim (e.g., photographs of a defective product).

Refund Claim Processing Times

Refund claim processing times can vary widely depending on the entity and the complexity of your claim. Below is a general timeline table for processing a refund claim:

Stage of ProcessEstimated Timeframe
Claim Receipt1-2 weeks
Initial Review2-4 weeks
Additional Information Request (if needed)1-2 weeks
Final Decision3-6 weeks
Refund Claim Processing Times

Keep in mind that during peak seasons, or for more complex claims, these timeframes may be extended.

Refund Claim Appeal Process

If your refund claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. Here’s a typical appeal process:

  1. Review the denial letter carefully to understand the reason for the denial.
  2. Gather additional documentation that may help your case.
  3. File an appeal according to the instructions provided by the entity. This often includes a written letter or a form outlining the basis for your appeal.
  4. Submit your appeal within the deadline specified in the denial letter.

Appeal processes can take several weeks to months, depending on the case’s complexity and the entity’s backlog.

Estimated Dates for Receiving Tax Refunds

This is the refund schedule for the 2024 tax season (for 2023 taxes you filed in 2024), see it figure out when you may receive your refund from the IRS.

Return Received by the IRSDirect DepositRefund Check
February 28March 12March 21
March 7March 19March 28
March 14March 26April 5
March 21April 2April 12
March 28April 9April 19
April 4April 16April 26
April 11April 23May 2
April 18April 30May 9
April 25May 7May 16
May 2May 14May 23
May 9May 21May 30
May 16May 28June 6
May 23June 5June 13
May 30June 12June 20
June 6June 19June 27

What can I do to get my refund early?

The best thing you can do to get your tax refund as soon as possible is to file electronically and choose direct deposit as the refund delivery method. This will ensure that you’re getting your tax refund in about 3 weeks. As seen in the refund schedule table above, those who e-file and get their refunds direct deposited are the ones who get it the earliest.

Make sure to e-file and get your refund direct deposited to receive it the earliest. Another thing you can do is filing taxes early. As long as you have everything necessary to file your federal income tax return such as Form W2, don’t wait up. The later you file your tax return, the later you will get your tax refund.

What happens if I miss the deadline to file taxes?

Taxpayers who miss the April 15 deadline should file taxes as soon as possible. For each month that you don’t file taxes, the IRS issues a 5% penalty of the unpaid tax. This penalty can be up to 25% for a total of five months your return remains unfiled.

What happens if I owe taxes and haven’t paid by April 15?

For unpaid taxes, the IRS imposes a 0.5% penalty of the unpaid taxes for each month. If you’ve paid taxes within a month of the deadline, you’re still going to be subject to the 0.5% penalty. However, you can show a reasonable cause that prevents you from paying taxes on time and the penalty will be waived.

I can’t file taxes by April 15, what can I do?

The IRS allow taxpayers to get additional time to file their federal income tax returns. This is done by filing an extension. If you aren’t ready to meet the April 15 deadline to file taxes, an extension will give you six more months to file your tax return.

Why is my refund late?

There are many reasons for a late tax refund. If the IRS received your tax return but haven’t approved your tax refund, it may be due to the tax credits you claimed. If you claimed Additional Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit, your tax refund is likely to be delayed since the IRS needs to look into it.


  1. On February 16, 2021 I filed my tax refund and I still haven’t received my tax refund.. All it says when I check is still processing.

    1. Hey Theresa,

      Due to COVID-19 and the large number of tax returns sent around these times, it’s perfectly normal for you to experience delays on your refund.

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