IRS Refund Schedule 2021: Where is My Tax Refund?

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IRS Refund Schedule: Filed your return and wondering when you should expect your tax refund? This answer depends on how you filed your tax return (e-file or via mail). We'll explain more in this article.

Every day, we work hard enough to earn money that could help us live a peaceful and stress-free life. It can be disappointing and even frustrating to see all that hard work being sucked away by the government through additional taxes. But if you are one of the lucky ones, then you are owed a tax refund for all your work from 2020.

Not long after filing your federal income tax return, you’re often left playing the waiting game.

Some may be left thinking, what’s wrong with the IRS and where’s my refund?

If you are getting a tax refund, then we can help you understand just how soon you should expect it.

What is a Tax Refund?

First, we gotta cover the basics. A tax refund or tax rebate is a refund to an individual or household on taxes when the tax liability is less than the taxes paid.

Taxpayers can often get a tax refund on their income tax if the tax they owe is less than the sum of the total amount of the withholding taxes and estimated taxes paid, plus the refundable tax credits claimed.

You can pay to file your taxes or use handy tools that can help you file your taxes online for free (see the best free tax software here).

If it is possible for you to get every dollar back, then why not go for it? Let’s face it, we deserve it.

IRS Tax Refund Schedule 2021

Here are the basics:

Taxes Due: Thursday, April 15, 2021
When You Will Get Your Federal Refund (E-File): 21 Days After E-File, if eligible
When You Will Get Your Federal Refund (Mail): Up to 12 weeks, if eligible

2020 Tax Deadline

The tax deadline will be on Thursday, 15th April 2020.

Tax Refund Dates

Although the tax refund dates have not been precisely stated, the IRS is expected to give a tax refund to most of the filers within 21 days. Here are estimations for expected returns based on filing dates and information from the IRS:

irs refund schedule
Source: Forbes

The IRS also offers guidance to people that they can submit their taxes before the beginning of the tax season. It is also to be noted that you cannot send your e-file until unless the IRS opens the software program system.

Will the Tax Refunds be Delayed?

According to the new law that Congress passed, the IRS is supposed to hold onto the tax returns that consist of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).

The IRS will withhold these tax refunds until the 15th of February, 2021.

Remember: If your federal tax return has these include these credits, your refund will not be refunded until 02/15/2021 even if you file the return early.

It is not necessary for the refunds to be made on that exact date, they might be slightly delayed. As compared to last tax season, the IRS stated that these returns would be built on February 27th. So it is safe to assume the refunds to be delayed.

You might be wondering that why do these delays happen and what is precisely the point of these laws?

Well, the extended time will give IRS the opportunity to review each return specifically, and to examine them to minimize the chance of fraud carefully.

By looking at the experience of 2018 and 2019, there was much credit blames on large organizations. And by this due diligence process, it is safe to say that the government’s funds are kept safe and ensured.

Where is my Refund?

The IRS has a where is my refund tool which allows you to track your refund after you file a tax.

irs refund schedule
Source: Intuit Turbo Tax

You can determine what level your refund is on and when can you expect to receive it.

This way, the tax return, and processes will not be kept from you, and you will know what to expect at what time.

Tips To Speed Up Your IRS Refund Schedule

The fastest way to get your tax return is by choosing the e-file optionwhich will automatically transfer your refund to your financial account (direct deposit) and relieve you of the effort as well as added stress when waiting for your tax refund.

This transfer or deposit is known as the direct deposit. These direct deposits are conventional and are usually used by most of the taxpayers to get their refunds in a fast and safe way.

All e-files are issued with a process of receiving funds via direct deposit, and these refunds are made within a time schedule of 21 days after the filing.

Does this apply to a State Tax Refund?

Still wondering where is my state refund? Well, all of the tax refunds as mentioned above were about federal tax refunds and did not apply to state tax refunds.

If you file a state tax refund electronically, then it will probably take more than a month to process it.

And paper submitted returns take longer to arrive, that is up to 12 weeks which is approximately three months.

Your state’s tax refund can be determined by contacting the state tax agency or by checking your state’s Department of Revenue website.

An overview of the Tax Schedule

The bottom line is that the tax due date for your 2020 tax return is April 15th, 2021, which is on a Thursday. You can see how long you should expect to get your tax refund below:

Taxes Due: Thursday, April 15, 2021
When You Will Get Your Federal Refund (E-File): 21 Days After E-File if eligible
When You Will Get Your Federal Refund (Mail): Up to 12 weeks if eligible

IRS Refund FAQs

IRS refund phone number?

The toll-free phone number to check your Federal refund status is 1-800-829-1954. Automatic service is available every day of the week, 24 hours per day, and you can check on your refund in either English or Spanish. Or you can call 1-800-829-4477 to reach the IRS TeleTax System and check the status of your tax refund.

Where is my federal tax refund?

By filling out an IRS e-file, you can get your refund in about a timeframe of 8 days, and nine out of ten taxpayers get their IRS issued refunds in as little as 21 days.

IRS accepted the return but not approved?

Did you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit on your federal return?  If your federal tax return has these include these credits, your refund will not be refunded until 02/15/2021 even if you file the return early. If not, you can call 1-800-829-1954 to speak with the IRS.

Why is my refund so late?

The IRS has not confirmed an exact date for when they will start accepting 2020 returns, but you can anticipate the tax returning to begin from February 12th, 2021, predicted on the base of last year’s processes.

When to Expect my Tax Refund in 2021?

Everyone primarily has one concern when it comes to tax season, which is when will they get their money back. For starters, you should opt for e-filing, which is must faster, and it costs nothing extra. Your tax refund will be transferred automatically into your bank account through direct deposit.

This question of tax refund is often asked by people who are new to the world of tax filing. It was difficult to predict a tax return before the introduction of e-filing. The IRS announces a tax returning process on January 28th, 2021.

But it should be noted that due to the government shutdown, many tax programs are yet to be completed to start the new filing. An expected delay is soon to take over the board as the IRS begins to process returns.

The IRS these days is going through a shortage of staff. Even with this shortage and the ongoing budget crisis in Washington DC, the processing of tax payment and returns will not cease; however they will be delayed until the government re-starts its cycle.

In conclusion, the tax refund schedule time can be summed up below:

Taxes Due: Thursday April 15, 2021
When You Will Get Your Federal Refund (E-File): 21 Days After E-File, if eligible
When You Will Get Your Federal Refund (Mail): Up to 12 weeks, if eligible

Next, you can learn if you should claim 1 or 0 on your W-4 so you can boost your taxes for next year.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of My Millennial Guide, a personal finance site helping you put more money in your pocket. He helps millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.
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