Here’s when you can expect your tax refund to hit your bank account, according to the IRS

Filing online and requesting direct deposit is the quickest way to get your tax refund.

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Filing online and requesting direct deposit is the quickest way to get your tax refund.
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Tony Anderson/Getty
  • The IRS will be accepting 2019 tax returns beginning Monday, January 27.
  • Whether you file taxes electronically or by paper, the fastest and safest way to receive your refund is to request direct deposit.
  • The IRS issues 90% of tax refunds within 21 days of filing, but it could take up to six weeks if you file by paper.
  • The IRS has resources to help you file your taxes and track your refund.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

Most people dread filing their taxes – but nearly everyone is hoping for a 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 filing your tax return, which you can do as early as January 27.

Filing online and requesting direct deposit is the quickest way to get your federal tax refund, according to the IRS, which issues 90% of refunds with 21 days. Your state refund, however, may take longer.

According to IRS data, over 111 million Americans received federal tax refunds last year, averaging $2,860 per refund. Just over 138 million taxpayers filed electronically and nearly 92 million received their refunds via direct deposit.

The IRS will deposit your refund in up to three separate bank accounts, as long as they’re held in your name as an individual account or you and your spouse’s name as a joint account.

If you file by the traditional paper-and-pencil method and request your refund as a check, it will generally arrive via snail mail within six weeks of filing. If it doesn’t, an error or incompletion may be holding up the process.

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 or within four weeks of mailing a paper return. The IRS updates its system daily, usually overnight.

To check your refund status, you’ll need three things:

  • Your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number
  • Your filing status
  • The exact refund amount

For taxpayers claiming credits, refunds may take longer. The IRS says certain credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the additional Child Tax Credit, can not be issued until mid-February as a means to protect against identity theft and tax fraud. Those refunds usually become available in early March.