IRS Refund Schedule

Posted by Madison on January 23, 2011

When filing tax returns, the second question everyone asks is “How long does it take to get my tax refund back?” Of course, the first question everyone asks is “How much is my refund?”

For information on the current year tax refund schedule, including delays for Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, see: How Long Does it Take to Get Your Tax Refund Back?

Tax Refund Direct Deposit versus Mail

If you want to get your refund faster, opt for the direct deposit route. Not only will the IRS send your money a week earlier via direct deposit, but you’ll cut down on the mailing time too.

IRS Tax Refund Schedule

Here is the old IRS refund schedule for both direct deposit and mailed refunds. The IRS doesn’t guarantee that you’ll receive your refund by a certain date, but the schedule they publish does give some guidance.

Please note that the dates provided are for efiled returns only. In addition, the schedule doesn’t differentiate returns filed by the tax deadline, so be sure you’ve filed in time.

Update: The IRS has issued a tax refund delay alert. There is a delay for some taxpayers who filed their taxes to get your tax refund. For more detailed information on the updates, see the IRS tax refund delay.

Share your results: Poll: How Long Did it Take to Get Your Tax Refund?

Old Tax Refund Schedule

This is the old tax refund schedule. The IRS no longer gives specific dates for receiving your refund. Instead, they state most people will get their refunds in less than 21 days, but there won’t be any schedules to follow anymore.

However, I know that many of you like to look at the old schedules, just to see what they looked like. Here is the last IRS refund schedule the IRS issued:

Transmitted and accepted
(by 11 am) between:
Direct Deposit
Paper Check
Jan 17 and Jan 18 Jan 25 Jan 27
Jan 19 and Jan 25 Feb 1 Feb 3
Jan 26 and Feb 1 Feb 8 Feb 10
Feb 2 and Feb 8 Feb 15 Feb 17
Feb 9 and Feb 15 Feb 22 Feb 24
Feb 16 and Feb 22 Feb 29 Mar 2
Feb 23 and Feb 29 Mar 7 Mar 9
Mar 1 and Mar 7 Mar 14 Mar 16
Mar 8 and Mar 14 Mar 21 Mar 23
Mar 15 and Mar 21 Mar 28 Mar 30
Mar 22 and Mar 28 Apr 4 Apr 6
Mar 29 and Apr 4 Apr 11 Apr 13
Apr 5 and Apr 11 Apr 18 Apr 20
Apr 12 and Apr 18 Apr 25 Apr 27
Apr 19 and Apr 25 May 2 May 4
Apr 26 and May 2 May 9 May 11

IRS Tax Refund Status

You can also track the status of your tax refund with the IRS tool Where’s My Refund? or the IRS Refund Tracker Tax App.

While You Wait for Your Refund

Was your tax refund smaller than expected? While you are waiting for your tax refund, take a look around and find some additional ways to add to your refund amount. Here are some ways to get started: Over $3,000 in Free Money Sign Up Bonuses.

More Tax Topics

Get your biggest tax refund, guaranteed. Plus FREE Expert Tax Advice. File your Federal tax return for FREE today with TurboTax!

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