Tax refunds. If the government owes you money back on your taxes, you want to get it as soon as possible!

Getting money back from the government is a cause for celebration for many. However, if you are due a refund, that usually means you paid more income tax than you had to during the year. It could be because of a mistake. Or it could be you just need to update your employee tax forms so less is taken out of your paycheck.

But the good thing here is that if you overpay your taxes, the government will give you your money back.

But how quickly will that happen? How long does it take to get your tax refund?

Below we take a look at how long you can expect it to take. Plus find out why there may be times it takes longer than usual to get your tax refund.

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Tax Refund?

The answer here partly depends on whether you’re taking about your federal refund from the IRS or a state refund.

For the IRS, it will generally take 21 days for your refund to reach you. The clock on this starts on the day you file your taxes. If you are especially eager to get your tax refunds, you might ask, do weekends count within those days or not? Well, fortunately, weekends do count towards the standard 21 days. 

When you’re asking about state tax refunds, the amount of time depends on what state you live in. We have an article about tax state refunds here. In that article, there are links to all states that have an income tax for residents. Those state pages will give you an idea of how long tax refunds take in the state. You’ll also find information on how to check on the status of your refund.

More on How Tax Refunds Work

The Internal Revenue Services, or IRS, issues most tax refunds by taxpayers within 21 days since the taxpayers filed their tax. Previously, the IRS published a tax refund calendar. 

However, their calendar has been replaced by the new tax refund policy. When you receive a direct deposit date, the system will send you a notice. 

The notice states, “Expect your refund on this date, but call if not received by XXX date“. What this means is that it is possible for your tax refunds to take longer than the expected date that the IRS estimates. 

However, why is that the case? There are a number of reasons why your tax refund may take longer to get to you. 

Reasons why your tax refund may take more time

One common reason why tax refunds take longer to get to you than the expected date is due to any errors you make in filing your taxes. 

Often errors occur in the account numbers provided errors with math. Another reason for late refunds is if any information is left incomplete on the forms. Such cases can initiate a further review of your filing.

In the worst cases, your tax filing may be affected by identity theft or fraud. Accounting experts suggest that taxpayers keep copies of their tax returns for a minimum of three years because this is currently how long the IRS can audit people for under-reporting on forms. 

It is possible for tax refunds to take longer if you have refundable tax credits. If you have tax credits such as Earned Income Credit or Additional Child Tax Credits, then it is possible for your tax refunds to be delayed. 

Sometimes there will be an additional process needed. It is also possible for your tax refunds to be delayed due to the bank taking many days to process transfers into accounts. 

So even though the IRS sent the money just on time, it is possible that your bank may not post it to your account for several days. 

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