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- Tax Day 2019, the last day to file your 2018 tax return, is Monday, April 15.
- Your federal tax refund will typically be available within 21 days if you file electronically.
- Filing taxes electronically with direct deposit ensures the refund gets to your bank account quickly, the IRS says.
- The IRS has resources to help you file your taxes and track your refund.
If you’re expecting to get money back this year, you may be wondering exactly when you will receive your tax refund. The short answer is that you’ll almost certainly receive it within three weeks of when you file your taxes. But there are ways to get it sooner.
Filing online is the quickest way to get your tax refund. Using snail mail will get the job done, but it takes more time.
For a quicker refund, the IRS suggests you e-file and request your refund via direct deposit, the chosen method for most taxpayers. The IRS says direct deposit – which the government also uses for Social Security and Veterans Affairs payments – is “simple, safe, and secure.”
If you filed electronically, you should receive a refund within 21 days. The IRS updates its system daily, usually overnight. Your state refund, however, may take longer.
The traditional paper-and-pencil option means that your refund generally will arrive within six weeks of filing. If it doesn’t, an error or incompletion may be holding up the process.
Last year, about three-fourths of filers received refunds totaling about $285 billion, according to The New York Times, shaking out to an average of $2,800 per filer.
The average tax refund through the first four weeks of the 2019 tax season was $3,143, according to IRS data, up 1.3% from the $3,103 average refund over the same time period in 2018. For the week ending March 22, the latest data available, the average refund was tracking within 1% of last year’s average at $2,915.
Taxpayers can check the status of their tax refund using the IRS’s refund-tracking service within 24 hours of filing a tax return online. To do so, you’ll need three things:
- Your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number.
- Your filing status.
- The exact refund amount.
The IRS also says the earned income tax credit and the additional child tax credit could not be issued until mid-February as a means to protect against identity theft and tax fraud. Those refunds started becoming available as soon as February 27.
- Read more of our Tax Day 2019 coverage:
- How to figure out if you should do your own taxes or hire a pro
- The deadline to file your taxes is April 15 in every state except Maine and Massachusetts
- Here’s how big tax refunds could be this year for people earning between $21,000 and $266,000
- Tax Day is April 15. Here’s what you can expect when filing under the new tax law.