The 2014 tax season may be over, but many Americans are still eagerly anticipating their tax refunds. Knowing that they’ll get money back, they probably already have plans for how their tax refunds will be spent, saved or invested. But, when can they expect their refunds to arrive?
The IRS says that most refunds are issued in less than 21 calendar days after it has finished processing a tax return and confirm that the tax refund is approved. However, the timer begins only after the tax return gets to the IRS, which would depend on how it was filed.
To delay the arrival of tax refunds even more, taxpayers who opted to receive a refund check in the mail can expect to wait even longer to get their money.
Taxpayers who filed their returns electronically and chose to receive their refunds through direct deposit should see their refunds the soonest — within three weeks. Many people are reporting that their refunds came within one week after filing, even though they waited until late in the tax season to complete their returns.
Taxpayers who filed a paper return and chose to get a refund check in the mail will have to wait for quite some time before they get their money — possibly up to two months.
The IRS offers the “Where’s My Refund?” tool to provide taxpayers with up-to-date status on their tax refunds. Status notifications include when the return was received, when the refund was approved and when the refund was sent.
See the below table to get a better idea of when you’ll get your tax refund:
|You filed...||Tax refund status available in...||Expect your tax refund (after IRS accepts return)...|
|Electronically, requested direct deposit||72 hours||within 2-3 weeks|
|Electronically, requested paper check||72 hours||within 3-4 weeks|
|Paper return, requested direct deposit||4 weeks||within 4-6 weeks|
|Paper return, requested paper check||4 weeks||within 6-8 weeks|
As of April 11, 2014, the IRS processed more than 110 million income tax returns and issued more than 85 million refunds. The average tax refund was $2,751.
According to Capital One Bank’s annual Taxes and Savings survey, 52 percent of Americans who expect a refund plan to spend it instead of saving it.
How are you using your tax refund?