For everyone who is used to the IRS Refund Cycle Chart, it’s time to face reality: it’s gone! The IRS no longer published a chart of dates for refund checks and direct deposit dates. Now, instead of consulting a general all-purpose chart, you request individual information directly from the IRS. To do this, you must go to the IRS website and log in. Or, you can call the IRS refund hotline at (800) 829-1954. But if you need a quick answer without having to contact the IRS, there is a general time frame. However, there are numerous things about your tax return that can throw any guesses out the window, when you’re trying to determine ETA (estimated time of arrival). But here it is anyway.
How to Calculate an Estimated IRS Refund Date
If you electronically filed your taxes, you will have a starting point from which to calculate your refund date. It’s simple to know whether you filed electronically: you would remember filing the other way, which is to mail in a bunch of paper forms to the IRS. Most people e-file these days, and you probably did too. If you used software you would have chosen at the end of the program to file electronically or print out your forms and mail them in. If you used a tax preparation center like H&R Block then you definitely e-filed.
So, let’s say for simplicity sake you e-filed your federal tax return. Well it only takes a day or two and sometimes just a few hours for the IRS to accept your return and acknowledge this in an email. That will be your acceptance date. The way to calculate your IRS refund date is to count 21 days from your acceptance date. The IRS says that statistics show that nine out of 10 tax filers get their refunds within 21 days. There’s your estimated IRS tax refund date.
Treat This Estimated Date With a Grain of Salt!
But don’t panic if you don’t have your refund within that time frame. The IRS can easily flag your return- that’s NOT a reason to panic, however! Flagging a return simply means there were some indicators on your tax return that have in the past correlated with fraud. If you aren’t committing any fraud and didn’t lie on your federal tax return, then you have nothing to worry about. The IRS simply needs to look over your return and make sure everything adds up correctly, so to speak. So, if you haven’t committed tax fraud you just have to wait a little longer while your return is looked over a little more carefully, and then you’ll get your refund. Your IRS refund date will just be a little extended, that’s all.