(Updated January 12, 2021) According to the IRS, it can take up to 21 days to get your tax refund if you e-filed, and up to 42 days if you mailed in your tax paperwork.

The IRS claims around 90% of refunds happen within 21 days and we know from past IRS data (which it no longer makes public) that most refunds are issued within a week and a half to two weeks.

Based on that, the chart below should give you an estimated idea of when to expect your refund based on how and when you filed it.

WeekE-File Return ByMail Refund By
Jan. 25, 2021Feb. 5, 2021Feb. 12, 2021
Feb. 2, 2021Feb. 12, 2021Feb. 19, 2021
Feb. 8, 2021Feb. 19, 2021Feb. 26, 2021
Feb. 16, 2021Feb. 26, 2021Mar. 5, 2021
Feb. 22, 2021Mar. 5, 2021Mar. 12, 2021
Mar. 1, 2021Mar. 12, 2021Mar. 19, 2021
Mar. 8, 2021Mar. 19, 2021Mar. 26, 2021
Mar. 15, 2021Mar. 26, 2021Apr. 2, 2021
Mar. 22, 2021Apr. 2, 2021Apr. 9, 2021
Mar. 29, 2021Apr. 9, 2021Apr. 16, 2021
Apr. 5, 2021Apr. 16, 2021Apr. 23, 2021
Apr. 12, 2021Apr. 23, 2021Apr. 30, 2021
Apr. 19, 2021Apr. 30, 2021May 7, 2021

If you’ve check these dates and you’re past the timeframe and dates noted above, then you need to visit the IRS website to check on the status of your return.

You will need:

  • Your social security number or ITIN
  • Your filing status (e.g., single, married)
  • Your EXACT refund amount

While they don’t want you to contact them before that timeframe, you can still use the tool to check on the status of your refund. You must wait 24 hours after e-filing, and 4 weeks if you filed by mail.

The system is available 24 hours a day with a few exceptions.

The Where’s My Refund system isn’t available Monday’s from Midnight to 3am Eastern Time.

The Refund Trace system isn’t available during the following times. 

Sunday 12:00 am (Midnight) to 7:00 pm
Monday 12:00 am (Midnight) to 6:00 am
Tuesday 3:30 am to 6:00 am
Wednesday 3:30 am to 6:00 am
Thursday 3:30 am to 6:00 am
Friday 3:30 am to 6:00 am
Saturday 3:30 am to 6:00 am and 9:00 pm to 12:00 am (Midnight)