Taxes can be a pain, but digging through your receipts and filling out the paperwork is all worth it if you get a big refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unfortunately, the money doesn’t show up in your account instantaneously and many of us spend days or weeks wondering when it will arrive.
If you’re wondering, “where’s my refund?” here are the details on how long the process usually takes and what you can do to get your money faster.
Average Wait Time
According to their website, the IRS issues “9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.” So most people will receive any refund they are owed within a few weeks, but a small percentage may have to wait longer. You probably shouldn’t be concerned unless it’s been three weeks since you filed electronically or six weeks if you mailed in your tax return.
Although most refunds are processed and issued quickly, there are a few factors that can extend your wait time.
Filing By Mail
Paper tax returns sent in the mail tend to take longer to process than those filed electronically. Not only do you have to wait for the documents to be delivered to the IRS, but it might take longer for your information to be reviewed and your refund to be issued. If you want your refund as soon as possible, it’s best to e-file.
Choosing a Paper Check
Just as with filing your tax return, the way you choose to receive a refund can affect how long it takes. Taxpayers can choose to have their refund directly deposited into their bank account or to have the IRS mail them a check. Direct deposit is usually much faster, and it’s also more cost-effective for the government. “It costs the nation’s taxpayers more than $1 for every paper refund check issued, but only a dime for each direct deposit made,” says the IRS website.
Certain Tax Credits
There are special regulations surrounding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). If you claim either of these credits, the IRS cannot issue your refund until mid-February. This rule applies to the entire refund, not just the amount related to those credits. In 2018, the IRS anticipates these refunds beginning to arrive on February 27.
If the federal government shuts down, non-essential business will likely be delayed. This could result in a longer wait for your tax refund.
Tips for a Faster Refund
If you’re expecting a refund, follow these simple tips and it may just speed up the process.
- File electronically
- Double check all your information
- Choose direct deposit
*Although we hope these tips are helpful to you, Midland Credit Management does not offer financial advice. If you have questions or concerns about your personal finances, please speak to a financial advisor.