IRS Tax Refund Schedule ( 2023 )

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The IRS handles tax returns in the order that it receives them. If you submit your tax return electronically, the IRS typically processes refunds through direct deposit within 7-10 days after receiving your tax return. If you choose to receive a paper check, it may take up to two weeks for the IRS to process it. However, if you file a paper tax return, your refund may be delayed by several weeks.

The IRS processes tax returns in the order that it receives them. If you file your tax return electronically, the IRS will generally process direct deposit refunds within 7-10 days of receiving your tax return, and process paper checks within about two weeks. Filing a paper tax return may delay your refund by up to several weeks.

If you are wondering when you can file your tax return and when you will receive your tax refund, the 2023 tax season officially opens on January 23. According to the IRS, more than 90% of tax refunds are processed and issued within 21 days.

While it may be difficult to determine how much tax you will pay or how much you will receive in your tax refund, we can give you a rough estimate of when you can expect to receive your tax refund. This is only applicable if you file your federal taxes electronically using a software program or with the IRS e-File. Nine out of 10 taxpayers who file electronically receive their tax refunds within 21 days.

However, if you file your return on paper, you should expect longer delays as it takes longer for the IRS to process your paperwork. For more information on when to expect tax refunds, please refer to the tax refund chart below.

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IRS Refund Schedule for Direct Deposits and Check Refunds

The IRS Refund Schedule for Direct Deposits and Check Refunds is based on previous refund tables released by the IRS to assist taxpayers in estimating when they should expect to receive their tax refunds. In 2013 (2012 tax year), the IRS switched to the Modernized e-File System (MEF) from the old system where refunds were only issued once per week. Under the MEF system, the IRS now issues refunds every business day, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).

However, due to changes in the IRS auditing system, they no longer release a full schedule as they did in previous years. As a result, the following chart is based on IRS statements, published guidelines, and estimates from past years. It is important to note that this IRS refund schedule should only be used as a rough guideline.

To use the tax refund chart, first locate the left-hand column and find the date when your tax return was accepted by the IRS. Then, depending on whether you requested your refund through direct deposit or a paper check, use the middle or right column to determine when you should expect to receive your refund.

If you filed your taxes using e-File, you should receive a confirmation from the IRS that your federal tax return was accepted, and this date should be noted in the left column. However, if you filed your taxes using paper forms, this chart may not be helpful for you since paper returns are manually processed by IRS employees, which can take longer. Additionally, you won't have a confirmation date for when your return was accepted.

It's important to note that the chart covers dates beyond the usual filing deadline of April 18, 2023. If you file your taxes after this date, it's recommended that you request a tax extension to avoid potential penalties. Requesting an extension is a simple process and can save you money in the long run.

2023 Tax Refund Schedule (2022 Tax Year)


Please note that the IRS e-File system will be available starting from January 12, 2023. The IRS will start accepting and processing tax returns from January 23, 2023 onwards. You may use the chart below to estimate the expected refund date.

Tax Return
Accepted By IRS
Refund Status
Approved by IRS
Direct Deposit
Paper Check
Jan 23, 2023Jan 29, 2023Feb 10, 2023Feb 17, 2023
Jan 30, 2023Feb 5, 2023Feb 17, 2023Feb 24, 2023
Feb 6, 2023Feb 12, 2023Feb 24, 2023Mar 3, 2023
Feb 13, 2023Feb 19, 2023Mar 3, 2023Mar 10, 2023
Feb 20, 2023Feb 26, 2023Mar 10, 2023Mar 17, 2023
Feb 27, 2023Mar 5, 2023Mar 17, 2023Mar 24, 2023
Mar 6, 2023Mar 12, 2023Mar 24, 2023Mar 31, 2023
Mar 13, 2023Mar 19, 2023Mar 31, 2023Apr 7, 2023
Mar 20, 2023Mar 26, 2023Apr 8, 2023Apr 14, 2023
Mar 27, 2023Apr 2, 2023Apr 14, 2023Apr 21, 2023
Apr 3, 2023Apr 9, 2023Apr 21, 2023Apr 28, 2023
Apr 10, 2023Apr 16, 2023Apr 28, 2023May 5, 2023
Apr 17, 2023Apr 23, 2023May 5, 2023May 12, 2023
Apr 24, 2023Apr 30, 2023May 14, 2023May 19, 2023
May 1, 2023May 7, 2023May 19, 2023May 26, 2023
May 8, 2023May 14, 2023May 26, 2023Jun 2, 2023
May 15, 2023May 21, 2023Jun 2, 2023Jun 9, 2023
May 22, 2023May 29, 2023Jun 9, 2023Jun 16, 2023
May 29, 2023Jun 4, 2023Jun 16, 2023Jun 23, 2023
Jun 5, 2023Jun 11, 2023Jun 23, 2023Jun 30, 2023
Jun 12, 2023Jun 18, 2023Jun 30, 2023Jul 7, 2023
Jun 19, 2023Jun 25, 2023Jul 7, 2023Jul 14, 2023
Jun 26, 2023Jul 2, 2023Jul 14, 2023Jul 21, 2023
Jul 3, 2023Jul 9, 2023Jul 21, 2023Jul 28, 2023
Jul 10, 2023Jul 16, 2023Jul 28, 2023Aug 4, 2023
Jul 17, 2023Jul 23, 2023Aug 4, 2023Aug 11, 2023
Jul 24, 2023Jul 31, 2023Aug 12, 2023Aug 18, 2023
Jul 31, 2023Aug 6, 2023Aug 18, 2023Aug 25, 2023
Aug 7, 2023Aug 13, 2023Aug 25, 2023Sep 1, 2023
Aug 14, 2023Aug 20, 2023Sep 1, 2023Sep 8, 2023
Aug 21, 2023Aug 27, 2023Sep 8, 2023Sep 15, 2023
Aug 28, 2023Sep 3, 2023Sep 15, 2023Sep 22, 2023
Sep 4, 2023Sep 10, 2023Sep 22, 2023Sep 29, 2023
Sep 11, 2023Sep 17, 2023Sep 29, 2023Oct 6, 2023
Sep 18, 2023Sep 24, 2023Oct 6, 2023Oct 14, 2023
Sep 25, 2023Oct 2, 2023Oct 13, 2023Oct 20, 2023
Oct 2, 2023Oct 8, 2023Oct 20, 2023Oct 27, 2023
Oct 9, 2023Oct 15, 2023Oct 27, 2023Nov 3, 2023
Oct 16, 2023Oct 23, 2023Nov 3, 2023Nov 10, 2023
Oct 23, 2023Oct 29, 2023Nov 10, 2023Nov 17, 2023
Oct 30, 2023Nov 6, 2023Nov 17, 2023Nov 24, 2023
Nov 6, 2023Nov 13, 2023Nov 24, 2023Dec 1, 2023
Nov 13, 2023Nov 19, 2023Dec 1, 2023Dec 8, 2023
Nov 20, 2023Nov 28, 2023Dec 8, 2023Dec 15, 2023
Nov 27, 2023Dec 3, 2023Dec 15, 2023Dec 22, 2023
Dec 4, 2023Dec 10, 2023Dec 22, 2023Dec 29, 2023

Unofficial IRS tax refund schedule, based on previous years.

Please note that these are approximate dates based on past tax refund schedules published by the IRS. The IRS has stopped releasing these tax refund charts as part of their auditing procedure.

When can I expect my tax refund to be available?

Please be aware that it may take a few days for your financial institution to process your deposit, or several days for the check to be delivered via mail. This should be considered when planning how to use your tax refund.

The IRS advises allowing an extra five days for the funds to become available. However, in nearly all cases, opting for direct deposit will result in a faster refund, often available immediately, and in some cases within five days.

Important Tax Filing Dates and Refund Dates


- When is the earliest I can submit my tax return?

The first day to officially file your 2022 tax return is January 23, 2023. However, many tax software programs, such as IRS Free File, will allow you to complete and "file" your return before that date, starting on January 13. These programs will hold onto the returns until the IRS begins accepting them.

In some cases, early filers who submit their tax returns electronically may be eligible to participate in the IRS HUB Testing program. This program involves a controlled testing of the federal tax return system, with the IRS processing a small percentage of tax returns from major software providers. This testing allows for the identification and fixing of bugs in the tax return submission process before opening it up to all taxpayers.

- When is the deadline for filing taxes?

Last year, the IRS extended the tax filing deadline and the due date for federal income tax payments, making it another unusual year for taxes. However, there has been no such announcement this year.

For most individuals and businesses, the tax filing deadline for the 2022 tax year is April 18, 2023.* The usual tax deadline is April 15, except when it falls on a weekend or a recognized holiday. In some years, the tax-filing deadline may be affected by the observed holiday for Emancipation Day in Washington DC, which falls on April 16. In 2023, April 16 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day will be observed on Friday, April 14.

  • Note:

Residents of Maine and Massachusetts may have an extended tax-filing deadline because they celebrate Patriots Day on April 18.

If you are not ready to file your taxes by the deadline, you can file for a tax extension. However, any federal income tax payments are still due by the original tax-filing deadline. It is recommended to make an estimated tax payment before the tax deadline if you believe you will owe federal taxes. This year, the tax deadline when you file an extension is October 18.

What is the typical time frame for receiving a tax refund?

For about 90% of taxpayers, refunds will be issued in less than 21 days from the day the IRS accepts their tax return. Typically, most people receive their refunds in an average of 10-14 days.

After the refund is issued, your bank will usually make the payment available within one to three days of receiving it from the IRS. However, checks may take longer to clear your bank.

- Are there any potential delays in receiving tax refunds?

Yes, tax refund delays are possible. Federal law requires the IRS to withhold tax refunds for taxpayers who claim Earned Income Tax Credits and Additional Child Tax Credit until at least February 15, 2023. However, it's important to note that even after the IRS releases the refund, it can take up to a week to receive it. Therefore, those who file early may experience delays in receiving their refunds, but refunds should be processed normally after this date.

It's also worth noting that new identity theft protections and anti-fraud measures may cause some refunds to be held for further review, potentially resulting in additional delays.

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What are the options for receiving a tax refund, and which one is recommended?


The IRS offers three options for receiving tax refunds: direct deposit (which can be split among up to three banks), a paper check sent to your home, or a deposit into U.S. Savings Bonds. Another option is to apply the refund to any future taxes owed, which is a popular choice for some small business owners who are required to pay estimated taxes.

Direct deposit is generally considered the fastest and safest option for receiving your refund. You can receive your refund via an ACH bank transaction in as little as a few days. On the other hand, paper checks can take over a week to process, several days to travel via the postal system, and several days to clear your bank.

It's worth noting that some tax software companies also offer the option of receiving a tax refund on a prepaid debit card. However, this option is not always recommended as the refund is first sent to the tax preparation company before being issued to the taxpayer on the prepaid debit card.

Tax Refund Schedule for Extensions and Amended Tax Returns

If you filed for a tax extension, the tax refund schedule should remain the same. However, there is no official schedule for tax refunds on amended tax returns. The schedule provided only includes dates for e-filing an original tax return. Amended tax returns are processed manually and usually take between eight to 12 weeks to process. If you don't receive your amended tax return refund within eight weeks of filing it, you should contact the IRS to check the status.

How to Check the Status of Your Tax Return

To check the status of your federal tax refund, you can visit the Where's My Refund page on the IRS website. You can access this page approximately 24 hours after receiving confirmation from the IRS that they have received your tax refund via e-File. If you mail in your tax return, you will need to wait at least four weeks before checking the status.

To check the status, you will need to provide your Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount. Alternatively, you can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1954, 1-800-829-4477, or 1-800-829-1040 to inquire about your tax return status with a customer service representative. Note that the IRS updates tax return statuses only once a day during the week, typically between midnight and 6 a.m. Checking multiple times a day will not yield different results.

Should I call the IRS to check my federal tax refund status?

According to the IRS, you should only contact them to check your federal tax refund status if it has been 21 days or more since you e-filed, six weeks or more since you mailed your return, or if the "Where's My Refund" tool instructs you to contact the IRS. Calling the IRS before these time frames have passed is unlikely to provide any new information and may delay the processing of your return.

Get a Larger Tax Refund Next Year

To receive a larger tax refund next year, there are several methods to increase the amount of money you will receive from the government. One of the simplest ways is to contribute to a tax-deferred retirement plan such as a 401(k) or the Thrift Savings Plan. Additionally, opening a Traditional IRA enables you to deduct up to an extra $5,500 on your taxes each year (up to $6,500 if you are 50 years of age or older). You can establish an IRA at various locations, including banks, brokerage firms, independent advisors, and more.

Getting Tax Relief if You Owe Money

If you find yourself owing the government money after completing the tax filing process, there are ways to obtain tax relief. One option is to negotiate directly with the IRS and state revenue agencies, while another is to employ a tax relief company to bargain on your behalf.

If the amount you owe is less than $10,000 and your case is not intricate, it may be beneficial to handle the negotiations with the IRS yourself. However, if your case is more complex or you owe a larger sum, it may be advantageous to engage a tax relief expert such as a tax attorney or enrolled agent. These professionals can assist in saving time and improving the likelihood of obtaining favorable terms on your tax settlement.

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