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It’s hard to wait patiently when you know you have money coming your way.  Chances are you want to know the exact minute it will get to you.  While there are no guarantees, we can give you an estimate of when it will arrive.

Fastest way to get your refund

Without a shadow of doubt, the fastest way to get your money is to e-file with a tax program like ezTaxReturn.com and choose direct deposit for your refund.  With ezTaxReturn, most people can prepare their federal and state returns in just 30 minutes. Providing inaccurate bank information will definitely slow down your refund, so always double check your entries.  To make certain your refund gets directly to you, as fast as possible, copy your routing and account numbers exactly as they appear on your personal checks.

Estimated refund dates

According to the IRS, most refunds are issued in less than 21 days, which is great news for your bank account.  However, there’s always a slim chance that your refund may be delayed if your return requires additional review.  So, hold off on spending the cash before it’s in your hands.  Although the IRS doesn’t guarantee when your refund will arrive, here are the estimated refund dates.

File By E-File with Direct Deposit E-File with Refund Mailed Paper File with Direct Deposit Paper File with Refund Mailed
January 27 February 10 February 18 February 24 March 2
February 3 February 18 February 24 March 2 March 9
February 10 February 24 March 2 March 9 March 16
February 17 March 2 March 9 March 16 March 23
February 24 March 9 March 16 March 23 March 30
March 2 March 16 March 23 March 30 April 6
March 9 March 23 March 30 April 6 April 13
March 16 March 30 April 6 April 13 April 20
March 23 April 6 April 13 April 20 April 27
March 30 April 13 April 20 April 27 May 4
April 6 April 20 April 27 May 4 May 11
April 13 April 27 May 4 May 11 May 28

Best way to track your refund

Once you’ve e-filed and your return has been accepted, you can begin tracking your refund using the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool.  The results are usually updated overnight so don’t waste your time visiting the site more than once a day.  To check your refund status, all you need is your SSN or ITIN, filing status and refund amount. If you’re curious about when your state refund will arrive, check out our “Where’s My State Tax Refund?” article.