When You Can Expect to Receive Your Tax Refund

The quickest way to receive your tax refund is to file electronically and have the money directly deposited into your bank account.

Question: I just filed my income tax return. When will I get my refund?

Answer: The IRS usually issues refunds within 21 days after you e-file, or within six weeks if you mail your return. You’ll get your money the fastest if you e-filed and have the refund electronically deposited into your bank account. See this IRS direct deposit guide for instructions on having your refund deposited into one or more of your bank accounts. Direct deposit also prevents you from having to worry about a lost or stolen check.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.