2024 Tax Refund Schedule: How Long Do I Have to Wait Until I Get My Tax Refund?

The information in this article is up to date for tax year 2023 (returns filed in 2024).

Jan. 30, 2024: The House of Representatives passed the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. If the bill is passed by the Senate and signed into law, the Child Tax Credit will be expanded for 2023 tax returns (due April 15, 2024).

You don’t have to wait on this legislation to file. If the bill passes, the IRS says they will handle any adjustments and additional refunds to eligible taxpayers who have already filed. File now to secure your credit and choose direct deposit for your fastest refund.

According to the IRS, most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days after the return has been accepted. Certain things can affect the timing of your refund, including:  

  • How you sent your return – Sending your return electronically allows the IRS to process it faster than if you mail it in.  
  • When you filed – The earlier you file, the earlier your return could be processed.  
  • Which credits you claimed – Claiming certain credits can cause your refund to be delayed (more details below). 

What is the IRS refund schedule? 

The IRS typically sends out refunds on a schedule. This schedule varies by the method you sent your return in, when you file, and what credits you claim. See an estimated schedule in the chart below. 

Filing method and refund delivery methodHow long it takes to receive your refund from the time your return is accepted 
E-file and direct deposit1-3 weeks 
E-file and check 1 month 
Mail in return and direct deposit 3 weeks 
Mail in return and check 2 months  

When will I receive my tax refund? 

The following chart includes estimated dates you could receive your refund for the 2023 tax season if you have submitted everything correctly and are not claiming any tax breaks that could cause a delay. 

If the IRS accepts your return by:   Direct deposit could be sent as early as:   Or your check could be mailed as early as:   
Jan. 29Feb. 19Feb. 26
Feb. 6Feb. 26March 4
Feb. 13March 4March 11
Feb. 19March 11March 18
Feb. 26March 18March 25
March 4March 25April 1
March 11April 1April 8
March 18April 8April 15
March 25April 15April 22
April 1April 22April 29
April 8April 29May 6
April 15May 6May 13

Please note that the IRS issues your tax refund – not TaxSlayer or any other filing service. This means that your filing service can’t say for sure when you’ll get your refund. But you can use the IRS’s Where’s My Refund tool to see exactly where your refund is. 

What happens after I e-file? 

After you submit your return with TaxSlayer, we time stamp your return and electronically send it to the IRS. Your return is now in the hands of the IRS. They typically take the next 24-48 to review your information to make sure it is correct.

If your personal information matches their records and you haven’t taken any credits or deductions that require further review, they will accept your return. You should receive an email notification once your return is accepted. After you receive confirmation, you can expect to receive your refund based on the estimated schedule above. 

What does it mean when my tax return is accepted? 

When you receive confirmation that the IRS accepted your return, it means that they have reviewed your return, and it has passed their initial inspection. They verify your personal information and other basic items, like if your dependents have already been claimed by someone else.

Then, they have a few days to approve your refund. They will take a more in-depth look at your return and your history. After the IRS approves your return, they will fund your refund based on the schedule mentioned above.

Is it faster to file electronically or mail my return? 

In most cases, it is faster to file your return electronically. The IRS receives these returns faster than the ones that were mailed in, which shortens the time between when you submit your return and when you’ll receive your refund.  

File electronically with TaxSlayer and choose direct deposit to receive your refund sooner.

For more info about the advantages of electronic tax filing, read 5 Reasons Why You Should File Your Taxes Online.  

It’s been 21 days since the IRS accepted my return. Why haven’t I received my refund?  

If the IRS has accepted your return and you haven’t received your return on schedule, there could be a few reasons why it hasn’t arrived yet. 

  • There may be a typo or a miscalculation on your tax return 
  • Your tax return is incorrect – You may have chosen the wrong filing status, filled out the form incorrectly, or made other mistakes that prevent your return from being processed. 
  • Incomplete forms – If you happen to skip a line while filing your return, the IRS will contact you to complete the forms before processing your return. 
  • Someone may have filed on your behalf – If your Social Security Number was used fraudulently, it will affect the filing of your return. 
  • Processing Delays – If you filed early or at the last minute, your return may be held up on the IRS’s end. 
  • Bank delays – In some cases, your direct deposit may be delayed due to an influx of traffic at your bank. 
  • Your refund may have been garnished by the IRS – If you have outstanding tax debt or child support payments, the IRS may take a portion (or all) of your refund. 

Will the IRS contact me if my refund is delayed? 

If it’s past the 21-day mark and you haven’t gotten your refund, you may want to be on the lookout for a notice from the IRS in the mail. The IRS will never contact you via email or phone without sending official communication in the mail first. 

If the IRS contacts you out of the blue without sending a notice, you may be targeted for a scam. Here’s what to do if the IRS contacts you via phone.  

What tax breaks can affect the timing of my refund?  

If you are claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, your refund is most likely going to be delayed. The IRS does not typically send out these refunds before mid-February, which means your refund will probably arrive in early March, according to the IRS. 

Should I file my taxes early? 

Filing your tax return early can present many advantages to help you during the tax season. These include reducing stress, having more time to pay if you owe money on your taxes, and (of course) getting your refund sooner. 

What if I miss the deadline? 

Taxes are due on Monday, April 15, 2024. If you file your return after the deadline, you could be charged late filing fees and other penalties. The good news is, if you need more time to file you can request an extension with the IRS. 

It is important to note that an extension does not give you more time to pay your taxes. It only gives you more time to file your return. In other words, if you owe money on your taxes, your payment is still due by April 15th. If you request an extension, you will have six more months to send your return to the IRS. The deadline to submit extensions for tax year 2023 is October 15, 2024. 

Are there any important tax dates to know? 

Yes, the following dates are important to keep in mind for tax season. 

  • Deadline to file and pay your tax bill, if you have one, is April 15, 2024
  • Deadline to file an extended return is October 15, 2024

 Click here for a more complete list of important tax dates. 

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