Tax season is officially open, and those filers in line for a refund this year may be wondering when the money will land in their accounts.
As long as the tax return is complete and accurate, the Internal Revenue Service says most people will get their refund in under 21 days, as long as they file electronically. For those taxpayers who file a paper return, however, the refund could take four weeks or more to process.
“If at all possible, file electronically, and request that you receive your refund by direct deposit,” tax attorney Adam Brewer told Nexstar. “I know no one really loves to give their banking information to the IRS or to the state, but if you want your refund quickly, you have to give them the direct deposit information.”
CPA Practice Advisor, a publication for tax experts, says most Americans who are receiving their refunds via direct deposit can expect it in as little as two weeks. During the height of the tax season in late March the wait may be a bit longer.
Where’s my refund tool?
You can also check on the status of your tax refund using the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool, but, depending on how you file you will have to wait longer to get an answer.
For e-filers there’s good news, 24 hours after filing your 2022 return you’ll be able to check on your refund.
Taxpayers filing a return electronically for years 2021 and 2022 will be able to use the tool about 3 or 4 days later. For paper filers, the wait will be at least four weeks, according to the IRS.
What to avoid while filing
While filing electronically and using direct deposit are the best ways to get a quick refund, the IRS also warns about tax return issues they see that will delay the process.
The refund process will be delayed when a return:
- Is filed on paper
- Includes errors
- Is incomplete
- Needs further review in general
- Is affected by identity theft or fraud
Also worth noting, there may be a longer timeline to get a refund when there are credits being claimed. The IRS says that by law the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit can’t be sent out until mid-February, at the earliest.
Anyone filing a Form 8379, the Injured Spouse Allocation, should expect an additional 14 weeks of processing time.
The deadline for filing a 2022 tax return is April 18.