(Updated January 20, 2023) According to the IRS, they anticipate that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file their returns. However, that is for those who file electronic returns and choose to get their refund by direct deposit. That also assumes there are no issues with your return.

For those who send in their return by mail and/or don’t choose direct deposit, it will take much longer to get your refund. In fact, it can take twice as long, if not longer if you file things by regular mail.

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. 24Feb. 4Feb. 11
Jan. 31Feb. 11Feb. 18
Feb. 7Feb. 18Feb. 25
Feb. 14Feb. 25Mar. 4
Feb. 21Mar. 4Mar. 11
Feb. 28Mar. 11Mar. 18
Mar. 7Mar. 18Mar. 25
Mar. 14Mar. 25Apr. 1
Mar. 21Apr. 1Apr. 8
Mar. 28Apr. 8Apr. 15
Apr. 4Apr. 15Apr. 22
Apr. 11Apr. 22Apr. 29
Apr. 18Apr. 29May 6
*Estimates Only!

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)