Tax Refund Schedule for 2017

Tax Preparation in 2018

Tax Refund Schedule for 2017

Tax season is here and millions of taxpayers are already eagerly anticipating hoped-for refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service. Yet, it can be hard to guess when those refunds will actually show up in your bank account or mailbox

There’s no firm schedule that the IRS follows in getting people their refunds back, but the tax agency does provide some typical time frames that it tries to follow in getting returns processed and refunds sent out.

The IRS has said in past years that it gets 9 out of 10 refunds back to taxpayers in less than 21 days, and in it’s most recent message to taxpayers, the service repeated its commitment to that goal. However, there are some new rules that apply to many taxpayers that could result in further potential delays for the earliest filers.

Specifically, new laws require the IRS to withhold any refunds on returns that include claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit until at least Feb. 15. From there, the IRS expects to release those refund amounts, but it cautions taxpayers that it could take until the week of Feb. 27 for those refund amounts to get directly deposited to your bank account.

Nevertheless, taking these restrictions into account, there are still some things you can do if you want to expedite your refund to the maximum extent possible. First, filing your return electronically is the fastest way to get it into the processing system and often results in fewer errors than paper returns. Also, direct deposit gets money back to you much more quickly than getting a paper refund check mailed to you.

It used to be that the IRS provided a firm schedule you could use to predict when you’d get a refund. That has gone away, but based on reasonable projections of turnaround time, you can estimate when you’re likely to get a refund.

In order to get specific information on your refund once you’ve filed your return, the IRS has an online tool called Where’s My Refund that you can use.

The IRS won’t necessarily follow this schedule, and the Where’s My Refund tool is the best source for definitive information on your return as soon as it’s available. Moreover, in some cases, the IRS might well get a refund back to you more quickly than the table below suggests.