taxes

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.

Your refund may be delayed if you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Under federal law, the IRS cannot issue refunds before mid February for people who claimed these credits. That’s designed to protect against ID theft by people who file a tax return in your name before you do.

You can check on the status of your refund with the IRS’s Where’s My Refund? tool. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, your filing status and the exact amount of your refund. You can check on the status 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return or four weeks after filing a paper return. The tool shows the status in three stages: return received, refund approved and refund sent.

Fewer people than usual are receiving refunds this year because the new tax law reduced the income tax brackets starting in 2018 and the IRS adjusted the tax withholding tables to have employers set aside less money from employees’ paychecks. Your tax bracket may have dropped and your take-home pay may have risen in 2018, but you may end up having a smaller refund (or no refund) when you file your income tax return.

If you’d like to receive a larger refund in the future or, even better, if you’d like to get more money in your paychecks but not owe money at tax time, you can use the IRS’s 2019 Withholding Calculator to determine whether you should adjust the amount of taxes your employer withholds from your paychecks. (You can also use our tax withholding calculator.) You can adjust your withholding by filing IRS Form W-4 with your employer to get more money in each paycheck right away, or you can reduce your take-home pay and get a larger refund next spring. For more information, see The One Simple Move Keeping Americans from Getting Bigger Tax Refunds This Year.

Most Popular

5 Best Dow Dividend Stocks to Buy Now
blue chip stocks

5 Best Dow Dividend Stocks to Buy Now

This mini-portfolio of blue-chip dividend payers is well-positioned to both generate income and hold up to headwinds for the rest of 2022.
June 27, 2022
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
Top Bear Market Tips from 10 Financial Advisers
investing

Top Bear Market Tips from 10 Financial Advisers

When a bull market turns into a bear market, it can be hard to know what to do. Take comfort in the guidance of 10 financial professionals.
June 30, 2022

Recommended

Retirees, Make These Midyear Moves to Cut Next Year's Tax Bill
Tax Breaks

Retirees, Make These Midyear Moves to Cut Next Year's Tax Bill

Save money next April by making these six hot-as-July tax moves.
July 1, 2022
Biden Proposes Gas Tax Holiday, Urges States to Do the Same
Tax Breaks

Biden Proposes Gas Tax Holiday, Urges States to Do the Same

The proposed three-month federal gas tax holiday would bring down the price of gasoline slightly, while state gas tax holidays could reduce the price …
July 1, 2022
IRS Increases Mileage Rates Because of High Gas Prices
Tax Breaks

IRS Increases Mileage Rates Because of High Gas Prices

The higher mileage rates, which are used to calculate certain tax deductions for business and other uses of a car, took effect on July 1.
July 1, 2022
How 13 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed
retirement

How 13 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed

When you're planning for retirement, it's fun to contemplate all the travel and rounds of golf ahead of you, but don't forget about taxes.
June 30, 2022