How Long Did it Take to Get Your Tax Refund?

Posted by Madison on February 22, 2012

Tracking tax refunds is quite the adventure this year. Readers are reporting all sorts of data points in how long it takes to get your tax refund back.

Originally the IRS started out with an aggressive one week turnaround on tax refunds for efiled returns.

However, once we got started, they announced a one week tax refund delay.

But then it got worse and after a few more IRS alerts, the IRS thought that returning to the historical range of 10 to 21 days for tax refunds would work for the majority of filers.

But that doesn’t appear to be the case for the majority of My Dollar Plan readers!

Update: New in 2017, the IRS Will Delay Tax Refunds if You Claim These Tax Credits: the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.

Actual Tax Refund Timeframe

Readers have left all sorts of comments about the various timeframes they are (and are not) receiving their tax refunds. So let’s work on compiling the data. If you efiled and selected direct deposit, how long did you wait for your tax refund?

Leave a comment below with the timeframe it took to receive your tax refund.

Which Returns are Delayed?

Based on some questions I got, I reviewed hundreds of comments to try to see if I can find any patterns, including tax returns that I’ve filed. However, it doesn’t appear that the tax refund delays are different depending on which tax bracket or income to file taxes you fall in.

I don’t have enough data yet to see if certain tax credits are being held up longer than other returns. Once we get closer to the tax deadline, maybe we’ll see some additional patterns.

IRS Tax Refund Status

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

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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Comments to How Long Did it Take to Get Your Tax Refund?

  1. it was first 1 week but IRS couldn’t find it after submitting it 2/3. finally today 2/22 they found it but gave from now until 3/6.


  2. ok I send my form since jan.16.. they received it feb.18 but before that they had told me mar.20…oook then I called and checked wmr and both said feb.21 so I waited for 21 but nothing ok so I called and this guy told mee “there was a lill error w/ the computer but its fixed already and gave me until mar 23 soo I keep checking and it says due to delays ….its proccesing and keeps saying feb 21 andwe are in feb23 oook wth is going on!!!!! ;(


  3. i submited my tax papers on Feb 3 and was supposed to received it by feb.15 2012 well the day came and went and nothing, i checked on line and then it said it would be ready by feb. 28 today is March 3 and i went back to the irs page to check and now it does not even give a date it just says it is being processed and no more info. Why is it taking so long i have always received it within 6-10 days!!!


    • I am in the same boat file feb 11th supposed to get it by feb. 28th now it is apr. 2nd and i have nothing..


      • I filed 2nd week in Feb. I have had assist form H&R Block since they did my return and guess what they let me make the calls from their office and I was transferred 5x back to the original IRS # without any solid answer WHERE or WHY my tax return refund was not en route to me! Today is May 5th and still counting! This is WAY WRONG!


  4. Filed February 22 after I finally got my 1099-DIV/B. Got it today (well deposited the 10th). So 17 days.


  5. Efiled on 3/3/12 through TaxAct. WAS to be deposited today, 3/15/12, but of course, IT’S NOT THERE, lol. We shall see!!



    MS P

  7. Was told refund would come on 2-26-12. Every other year it was earlier than the given date, leading me to believe it was a no later than xx-xx-xxxx. From what I understand there is a delay of 10 to 21 days. Now on march 30(33 days later) I still haven’t gotten it. everyone else I know already has received theirs and I filed earlier than some of them. Some people(me being one of them) depend on this to catch up from a year of financial difficulty. Went through H&R block and they tell me there’s nothing wrong and just awaiting payment. Am I alone in this lengthy wait period or is this par for the course. They sure don’t hesitate to take but seem to take there time to give.


    • I filed march 1st and was suppose to get my refund on the 13 th as they day came and went when they final updated it it said I will receive it by April 23 … The. It changed to april 3 today is April 3 and noe it just says that they have received my info and it’s being processed this is very frustrating I’m getting married and that my honey moon money 🙁


      • Holy cow I too filed march 1st and the wmr site says still processing I’m so over it .I’m curious how much longer will the wmr site take beofre it shows approved its been 13 days


  8. All of us have gotten the shaft.I actually have 2 friends that work for the IRS and they still haven’t gotten theirs yet.What they haven’t said is that last year they sent out 1 1/2 MILLION tax refunds to identity theft so they got new softwear but apparently in their wisdom they didn’t think they needed to go through several months of testing before putting it into service.I am sure they are still trying to figure out how to spot fraudulent returns and they can hold our returns so we are just screwed.By the way where’s my refund is just spouting dates they really don’t mean anything.You are just lucky if yours actually does come on a certain date.I actually went to the IRS and asked.They have until 60 days after they sent the first letter.In my case it was 33 days after they had accepted my return so by law they until April 17 to either tell you what they need or approve or deny your refund,they don’t even have to tell you why they are holding it until then.


    • Yes. They are truly unresponsive. Somebody’s head needs to roll at the IRS. From the top down.


  9. Our taxes were received and it was confirmed on April 11, 2012. We were scheduled on the IRS website to receive our tax refund on May 8, 2012 then we called on that day and the date was off the website. We were able to reach a live person and they told us to wait 45 days, we did. On day 45 we called back the IRS, again, no refund, waitt 30 more days. We waited. 30 days went by, August 24th our new date. August 24th came…call back September 14….Our story is like others here…bills, house repairs and whats so bad about it all, is that in the news the IRS gave out 6 million to fraud identity schemes…I am a police chief and I pay my taxes all year…why the wait. When we ask , they tell us at the customer service center that there is no reason that they (in Texas) should be holding our tax refund….is there any help? I also check with the Tax Advisor…same response…you are not in a hardship…you need to wait. Please help with any advice…


    • Finally got our refund on September 13, 2012. It seems like only after we posted here did the IRS return our money…I think it is being monitored here…..Anyway….it was also $130.00 more than what we filed….Interest?….probably….Good luck to everyone still waiting….


    • Contact your Congressman/woman and/or Senator ASAP!!!


  10. I have never had this issue before but, now I am getting a little impatient. I filed around Jan 24th and my tax guy said I would get it by Feb 10th. It is now Feb 17th and still nothing! They told me to check the “wheres my refund” site but, that does not give me ANY information about my tax return at all. Ugh, that was my moving in a new apt money but, that seems to be going down the drain! It blows!

    Kristina T

  11. Still no refund & I guarantee it won’t be here the 21st day which is THIS Thursday… My car is getting ready to go repo because of a recent layoff so I have NO CHOICE but to depend on this refund… I’m in college & everything so if I lose my car then goodbye to college because I will have NO WAY to get there! I know this is taxes of 2012 but 2013 has become worse than 2012 ever thought about…


  12. I am extremely frustrated. I filed my taxes on January 9th. My return was accepted on January 25th. I received notice that my return wouldn’t be processed until the 14th of February due to Form 8863, Education Credits. Turbo Tax estimated that I would recieve my return by today. The IRS’s site is constantly down due to multiple people overloading the Where’s My Refund app. I would have though by filing my taxes so early, I would be one of the first people have my return processed. I find this extremely frustrating and infuriating. If I were late on paying taxes, the IRS would expect me to pay interest, fines or even serve jail time. I understand that the IRS is not to blame for all of these delays, but it is very disappointing that they did not prepare more adequately for these changes. Turbo Tax was able to accurately and quickly update their system and I find it disappointing that no one else was able to deal with these issues in a timely manner. If one company was able to do it, others should be able to as well. I wish there was a way to not have to go through this process again. Next year, I hope that we have better standards and faster response time. I extremely disappointed in this system and I hope we can work together to improve our internal revenue system in the future.


  13. I paid 85 dollars to have my taxes done on January 27th within 4 Days the refund website was showing they received it and it will take 21 days today is February 21st 2 days ago the BAR went away and it stated a refund date will be available when provided…really getting anxious im a single parent with bills to pay my tax preparer said I should receive it between the 15th and the 22nd tomorrow is the 22nd still no date…HELP


  14. well it seems to be i’m not alone in this. i filed my taxes with a taxprepayer on jan 16th sent it by mail. actually my taxes didn’t start getting processed until feb 14th because i’m claiming edu credits. wll called irs this morning and the lady told me there is nothing in their system yet regarding my file.. to wait 2 to 4 more weeks not counting from the date i sent them (jan16th) but from the date they received it which it could be any time between feb 14th and feb 20th.. i was asuming my taxex have gotten lost since the system shows i havent filed yet, i was actually going to refile but irs reprsenattive and my taxprepayer adviced me not to do it yet i have to wait just like if i have sent my taxes return on feb 14th and just wait like every other year.. but damn sounds bad when you think since u filed early money is going to come early and you count on that to pay many bills.. so sad i’m a single mom of 2 behind in bills depending on tax refund to boost my budget a lil bit i just pray to god my taxes are there and they get to process it quick this is so stressful… please let me knowif anyone who filed early thru mail have received their refund already? for the record i wont ever file by mail again it is just a headache regarding if they got it, and the waiting time… the irs tools wheres my refund does not help at all when you mail your return because it wont show anything until is fully process ahhhhhhhhh i dont know what to do..i want to go and refile maybe right ??


  15. I efiled February 2nd and when I checked the website re my refund it said everything was processed and I would receive my refund today February 27, 2013. As I suspected when I checked my account nothing was there. So I missed a few days of big deal right? My rent will be late and I can bet my bottom dollar that months from now I will still have not received my refund. WTF is wrong with the IRS?


  16. We filed our taxes when tax season opened,and like all of the rest, was told that they did not except our taxes until the 14th of feb.
    It also says 21 days. My son did his 2 weeks after i did,and got his already.
    I was counting on my funds for an already planed trip with our kids, and worried we may have to cancel, but will also loose our deposits. We normally do not count money before it comes, but we have never ever had to hold off this long before. I hope they do see this, and If so please help finish my returns. We are honest people and because of bad people we are being held up and punished for it.
    By the way, my status has not moved from the first bar, so I am nervous what the rest have posted about not going in to account.

    Thomas Payerli

  17. I filed 2/4…recieved my federal refund on 2/12…now on to my newyork state refund…at first I was getting the message of we received it and it’s under review. After 2 weeks it started saying final stages of process. I never had that before. Don’t really understand it. Is the review over? It’s just a mess this year…


  18. I filed my tax return on 01/28/2013 received my Arizona return back in Feb the 22nd. IRS site says still processing. Spoke to one moron over there who didn’t bother to look up my file just kept saying because of the education credit its taking longer. Called back and spoke to someone who knew exactly what was going on said something about 45 days and the education tax credit delay.


  19. This is ridiculous! NO ONE should have to wait this long for their tax refunds! Today is day 21 for me. I didn’t know this was happening cause literally everyone i know has their taxes including several people who filed days after me. I just happened to come across this article while trying to find information about my taxes. Something has to be done about this horrible system quickly!

    Felecia W.

  20. Filed Feb 6th, still have not gotten my refund and it’s now March 12. It was pulled for review, whatever that mean. The chick who did them forgot to check a damned box. As of yesterday, was told by IRS that it could be 4 more weeks, but could be sooner. WTF?


  21. I filed on the 6th because of the education credit it couldn’t be transmitted till feb 14. The refund tool or should it be called refund provided by fools only showed refund received. Here it is march 13 no refund. When you try to call its to no help. Tax payer advocates don’t help. It’s so unfortunate that hard working citizens can’t not get any empathy or help from the IRS. If I owed money it wpould be different. Well I don’t you owe me. Release my money

    Cassandra cameron

  22. My husband and I filed a joint return that got accepted Feb. 20th, same with our state return. We got our state within a week, but it’s been 33 days today and still no federal. Wtf?? Hoping we don’t have to wait til the middle of april…


  23. I filed in 2/4/2013 and it was accepted that same day. Today is 3/26/2013 and its still being processed. We don’t need the IRS. Money is fake : why do we bother? When people OWE money, the IRS is quick to go get their money as soon as possible, too bad it’s not done with such urgency if they have to pay the American tax payers their refunds. Greedy financial institution that doesn’t really perform a function in our society but to keep middle class people living paycheck to paycheck and rich people rich.

    Taurus H

  24. i e-filed my taxes mar 11.. when i check the status its still processing, i received a letter in the mail saying i was selected for a review.. How long does the review take?


  25. I had to wait until Feb 14 th to file because of the education credit (form 8863) and I still have not received my refund! The first time that I called they said that there was an issue with my return so they had to re process on March 4, 2013 so it will be 4 to 6 weeks from that date. I called back last week and they said that they have finished processing my return but again the dates have started over which means another 4 to 6 weeks. I don’t know what the hell is going on but it’s really irritating! And wmr still says that they have received my taxes and its being processed- this comment has been on there since Feb 16, 2013. Smh


  26. I filed on February 26th, accepted on the 28th.. it’s now April 10th…Irs wheres my refund status…says still processing a refund date will be provided when available…..ugh


  27. 30days and it’s still being processed . E filed accepted same day. Getting tired of checking w m r


  28. Stupid Congress idiots, Filed on Feb 14, now April 15 and nothing THANKS “INCOME RETRIEVAL SERVICES!”


  29. Filed on 2/17…. on 3/11 rec’d a 4883c Letter dated 3/12. Had all my personal info on it including my full SSN. Had to verify my identity via a 1 hr 42 min. phone call on 3/12. So….if they believe someone’s identity is stolen they send a letter with all the personal info on it and the SSN…wow. Anyhow…here it is 4/22/13 and still no info… cannot get status either always says “still processing your return and will provide a date when available” I did however receive my return transcript that I ordered on 3/21 and it matches my return line for line so wtf is the problem?


  30. I fill my taxes on the 24 of jan and still having receive my taxes I have lost my home and I need my taxes to move here it is April 22 and its still saying its being processed and a refund date will be provide when aviable


  31. I e-file on January 17 and got accepted on February 8, 2013. I was told by an IRS representative if I had received a pass code I said “what passcode”. IRS rep. Provide me with one passcode over the phone and tell me that with the pass code he provide me my e-file will go thru. The news are that today is The 24 of May and I have not received my tax refund. The IRS now is telling me over the phone that I need to wait until June 26, 2013 for my direct deposit. I have been in the same company for over a decade, same wife, same bank account and same address over the past 7 years. So I need to wait patiently for my refund and it had been already 3 months and half and I need to still wait until June to see if I am gonna receive my direct deposit and if not to call them back. How long it will take? Nobody knows.

    Anthony Stuart

  32. I filed second week in February, I was told march 17 expect a 4 to 6 week delay. Its now June 24 and I can’t get an answer I signed a letter for my local congress man but that answer will take 4 weeks as well. I wish they would be honest and not dangle a carrot in front of me. I think I’ve been patient now I’m just plain mad


  33. Be super nice if they gave a crap about even some of all this negative feedback theyre receiving. I’m sure they probably don’t tho and we might as well be talking to a wall lol.

    Jamison Broyles

  34. Our tax man filed our taxes electronically on 4/6. Now it is 7/3 and we still didn’t receive the refund! Called them in May, was told to do ID verify, supposedly that was the problem. The irs person told us that now the refund will be released and everything will be fine. On June 1st I call them again, now they’re telling me I should receive the refund in 30 days. July 3rd still no money, I call again, a guy tells me to wait another 60 days at least! What a f!!! We need this money badly! And the worst part is, there was no issue with identity theft, as I was told. They are simply holding it for a “review”. So have to wait at least till September now… So sad.


  35. How long does it take NY State to deposit your refund once it enters the final stages of processing?


  36. I am so frustrated with the irs right I filled on the 11th of feb to come to find out someone used me as a depent I was told its gonna be a lng wait I keep trying to call the irs everyday bt cant get thru some one pls help me

    ms mad

  37. I waited from 5-7-2014 until 2-4-2016 to get my tax & all I got was $4.00 interest on $487.00 is this right?

    Helen Cox

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