When it comes to filing a tax return, there are a few questions that people care about more than any other – how much am I paying on taxes, how much will I get back in my tax refund, and when will I receive it? Everything else, the say, is just details.
There is no quick and easy answer to the first two questions, but we can give you a rough idea of when you will receive your tax refund, but only if you file your federal taxes electronically using a software program or with the IRS E-File. Expect longer delays if you file your return on paper, because it takes longer for the IRS to process your paperwork. The tax refund chart below offers more information on when to expect tax refunds.
Learn how military members can file taxes for free.
IRS E-File Schedule for Check Refunds and Direct Deposits
The following tax refund table is based on previous refund tables released by the IRS to help tax payers know when they should receive their tax refund. Due to changes in the IRS auditing system, they no longer release a full schedule as they did in previous years. The following chart is based on estimates from past years.
To use the refund chart:
- Use the left hand column to look up the date your tax refund was accepted
- Use the middle or right column to look up when you should receive your refund (depending on how you requested your refund – direct deposit or paper check).
If you filed your taxes with E-File, you should receive a confirmation that your tax return was accepted by the IRS. This date will go in the left column. If you didn’t file your taxes electronically, then this chart may not be useful for you for two reasons: you won’t have a confirmation date regarding when your tax return was accepted, and paper tax returns are manually entered by IRS employees, so the process takes longer.
You will also note that this chart covers dates beyond the traditional filing date. If you file after April 15, 2014, then you should file a tax extension request. It’s simple, and can potentially save you a lot of money in penalties. Note: Some military members may be eligible for additional tax deadline extensions if they were deployed or served overseas during the tax year.
|Tax Return Accepted By IRS before 11:00 am between…||Direct Deposit Sent*||Paper Check Mailed*|
|Jan 31, 2014 (first day IRA accepts returns) and Feb 1, 2014||Feb 5, 2014||Feb 8, 2014|
|Feb 2 and Feb 08, 2014||Feb 12, 2014||Feb 15, 2014|
|Feb 9 and Feb 15, 2014||Feb 19, 2014||Feb 22, 2014|
|Feb 16 and Feb 22, 2014||Feb 26, 2014||Mar 1, 2014|
|Feb 23 and Mar 01, 2014||Mar 5, 2014||Mar 18, 2014|
|Mar 02 and Mar 08, 2014||Mar 12, 2014||Mar 15, 2014|
|Mar 09 and Mar 15, 2014||Mar 19, 2014||Mar 22, 2014|
|Mar 16 and Mar 22, 2014||Mar 26, 2014||Mar 29, 2014|
|Mar 23 and Mar 29, 2014||Apr 2, 2014||Apr 5, 2014|
|Mar 30 and Apr 05, 2014||Apr 9, 2014||Apr 12, 2014|
|Apr 06 and Apr 12, 2014||Apr 16, 2014||Apr 19, 2014|
|Apr 13 and Apr 19, 2014||Apr 23, 2014||Apr 16, 2014|
|Apr 20 and Apr 26, 2014||Apr 30, 2014||May 3, 2014|
|Apr 27 and May 03, 2014||May 7, 2014||May 10, 2014|
|May 04 and May 10, 2014||May 14, 2014||May 17, 2014|
|May 11 and May 17, 2014||May 21, 2014||May 24, 2014|
|May 18 and May 24, 2014||May 28, 2014||May 31, 2014|
|May 25 and May 31, 2014||Jun 4, 2014||Jun 7, 2014|
|Jun 01 and Jun 07, 2014||Jun 11, 2014||Jun 14, 2014|
|Jun 08 and Jun 14, 2014||Jun 18, 2014||Jun 21, 2014|
|Jun 15 and Jun 21, 2014||Jun 25, 2014||Jun 28, 2014|
|Jun 22 and Jun 28, 2014||Jul 2, 2014||Jul 5, 2014|
|Jun 29 and Jul 05, 2014||Jul 9, 2014||Jul 12, 2014|
|Jul 06 and Jul 12, 2014||Jul 16, 2014||Jul 19, 2014|
|Jul 13 and Jul 19, 2014||Jul 23, 2014||Jul 26, 2014|
|Jul 20 and Jul 26, 2014||Jul 30, 2014||Aug 2, 2014|
|Jul 27 and Aug 02, 2014||Aug 6, 2014||Aug 9, 2014|
|Aug 03 and Aug 09, 2014||Aug 13, 2014||Aug 16, 2014|
|Aug 10 and Aug 16, 2014||Aug 20, 2014||Aug 23, 2014|
|Aug 17 and Aug 23, 2014||Aug 27, 2014||Aug 30, 2014|
|Aug 24 and Aug 30, 2014||Sep 3, 2014||Sep 6, 2014|
|Aug 31 and Sep 06, 2014||Sep 10, 2014||Sep 13, 2014|
|Sep 07 and Sep 13, 2014||Sep 17, 2014||Sep 20, 2014|
|Sep 14 and Sep 20, 2014||Sep 24, 2014||Sep 27, 2014|
|Sep 21 and Sep 27, 2014||Oct 1, 2014||Oct 4, 2014|
|Sep 28 and Oct 04, 2014||Oct 8, 2014||Oct 11, 2014|
|Oct 05 and Oct 11, 2014||Oct 15, 2014||Oct 19, 2014|
|Oct 12 and Oct 18, 2014||Oct 22, 2014||Oct 25, 2014|
*Note: Again, these are estimated dates based on previous tax refund schedules released by the IRS. The IRS no longer publishes these tax refund charts, due to their auditing process.
Keep in mind it may take a few days for your financial institution to make your deposit available to you, or it may take several days for the check to arrive in the mail. Keep this in mind when planning to use your tax refund. The IRS states to allow for 5 additional days for the funds to become available to you. In almost all cases a direct deposit will get you your tax refund more quickly than 5 days, and in some cases will be available immediately.
Tax Refund Schedule for Extensions and Amended Tax Returns
The refund schedule should be the same if you filed for a tax extension, however, there is no official schedule for tax refunds for amended tax returns. The above list only includes dates for e-filing an original tax return. Amended tax returns are processed manually, and often take 8-12 weeks to process. If you do not receive an amended tax return refund within 8 weeks after you file it, then you should contact the IRS to check on the status.
How to Check the Status of Your Tax Return
You should be able to check the status of your tax refund roughly 72 hours after your receive confirmation form the IRS that they have received your tax refund via E-File. The best way to check the status of your federal tax refund is to visit the Where’s My Refund page at the IRS website, or, call 1-800-829-1954, or 1-800-829-4477, or 1-800-829-1040 and inquire about your tax return status with an IRS a customer service representative.
Get a Larger Tax Refund Next Year
If you want a bigger tax refund next year, then there are a few ways you can increase the amount of money the government will give you as a tax refund. One of the easiest ways is by contributing to a tax-deferred retirement plan such as a 401k, the Thrift Savings Plan, or by opening a Traditional IRA, which allows you to deduct up to an additional $5,500 on your taxes each year (up to $6,500 if you are age 50 or older). You can open an IRA in a variety of locations, including banks, brokerage firms, independent advisors, and more.
Update: IRS Announces Some Tax Refunds Will Be Late
The IRS recently upgraded their computer systems to prevent tax refund fraud. This may affect people who filed early in the year. Find out if your tax refund will be late.