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Where’s My Tax Refund?

We’re in the last quarter of 2021 and the IRS is struggling with a huge stockpile of tax returns and refunds waiting to be processed which creates stress for filers. Although the IRS guaranteed taxpayers at the start of tax season that they would receive their refunds promptly, this hasn’t been the situation all the time. 

At the beginning of September, the IRS declared it had 8.5 million unprocessed individual tax returns, which include last year’s returns with inaccuracies and amended returns that need revisions or special handling. As per the Taxpayer Advocate Service, a backlog of 2019 paper returns, the large bulk of 2020 tax returns, and the IRS being undermanned have resulted in some taxpayers going through refund delays. 

Usually, you can anticipate having your tax refund within 21 days after filing electronically. That indicates your bank will get hold of your refund within three weeks from the day the IRS receives your tax return. 

When you file a paper tax return, expect delays. The IRS mentions paper tax returns may take longer to process Covid-19 mail setbacks. When you assume to have a tax refund and need to receive it as soon as possible, file ahead of time and electronically.

How long does it take the IRS to process my tax refund?

As mentioned, the IRS typically issues tax refunds no less than three weeks; however, some filers have been expecting months to have their payments. Suppose there are some inaccuracies, or if you filed a claim for the child tax credit or an earned income tax credit, expect it to be lengthy. When there is a problem delaying your return, the ruling depends on how fast and spot-on you respond and the proficiency of IRS staff at work under the pandemic conditions to process your return. We have put together a short video discussing how long it takes to get your refund

Suppose you don’t get your refund within 21 days, your tax return might require a further audit. This may arise if your papers are lacking or full of holes. 

If you haven’t received your tax refund after at least 21 days of filing online or six weeks of mailing your paper return, go to a local IRS office or call the federal agency at 800-829-1040.

If I have to mail in my tax return will it take longer to get a refund?

You can still file your income taxes using the good old approach by mailing in your return and having a paper check at your convenience. But you won’t receive your tax refund as fast as the electronic way. 

If you filed your tax return via mail, expect a hold-up for paper returns because of the pandemic. Commonly, the IRS states to allot four weeks before reviewing the status of your refund, and that refund processing can take 6 to 8 weeks from the time the IRS accepts your return.

When does the IRS deposit funds weekly?

Tax refunds are processed by the IRS twice a week. On the first processing day, the IRS only processes refunds that will proceed via direct deposit, and on the second day, the IRS mails all refund checks to taxpayers who don’t prefer the direct deposit. 

Remainder of 2021 IRS tax refund schedule chart 

Date Taxes Accepted Direct Deposit Paper Check Mailed
Sep 26 – Oct 2 Oct 15 Oct 22
Oct 3 – Oct 9 Oct 22 Oct 29
Oct 10 – Oct 16 Oct 29 Nov 5
Oct 17 – Oct 23 Nov 5 Nov 12
Oct 24 – Oct 30 Nov 12 Nov 19
Oct 31 – Nov 6 Nov 19 Nov 26
Nov 7 – Nov 13 Nov 26 Dec 3
Nov 14 – Nov 20 Dec 3 Dec 10
Nov 21 – Nov 27 Dec 10 Dec 17
Nov 28 – Dec 4 Dec 17 Dec 24
Dec 5 – Dec 11 Dec 24 Dec 31

Note: These are estimated schedules based on past tax refund calendars issued by the IRS. The IRS no longer announces these tax refund schedules because of their auditing process.


How can I get my tax refund faster from the IRS?

Here are a few suggestions to help facilitate the receipt of your income tax refund.

Keep your tax records organized

Having everything you need organized the entire year, you’ll know where your files are and what you have for filing your taxes. This could prevent you from having errors and won’t cost you a considerable amount of money.

File early

Make sure to file your tax return ahead of time; you’ll get your money sooner and help eliminate the need to file an extension.  Filing as soon as possible may not entirely remove the danger of identity theft; however, it can protect your refund.

Use tax preparation software

Tax preparation software can considerably simplify and streamline the tax filing process. These systems not only cover the IRS schedules and forms you’ll need, though they also make sure that you understand every latest tax law and benefit from all possible deductions, which could raise your tax refund.

File your return electronically and opt for direct deposit

The combination of electronic filing and direct deposit is the quickest way to obtain your refund. IRS issues an estimated 90% of refunds within 21 days. Taxpayers who accepted direct deposits for their tax returns also got their economic impact payments a lot faster.

How can I check to see the status of my tax refund?

The safest way to check the status of your refund is through Where’s My Refund? on Have your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of your refund ready. 

You can begin viewing the status of your return within 24 hours of the IRS receiving your e-filed return. If you mailed in your return it can take four weeks to view the status online. 

When using USPS to mail in your taxes we highly recommend using USPS Certified Mail or another mail service with tracking or delivery confirmation services. You will receive a notice when the IRS has received it. 

 Make sure to consult with a tax professional if you have more specific questions about your tax return. 

Molen & Associates can advise how to best file your taxes and help you claim your returns. We can also help prevent complexities, such as being audited, penalized, or owing more money in taxes. 


The Molen & Associates Difference

Mike Forsyth

“Super helpful and timely. This is our first year with them and we look forward to trusting them with our taxes and business books for years to come.”

Caitlin Daulong

“Molen & Associates is amazing! They run an incredibly streamlined process, which makes filing taxes a breeze. So impressed with their attention to detail, organization, and swift execution every year. Cannot recommend them enough!”

Sy Sahrai

“I’ve been with Mr. Molen’s company for few years and I felt treated like family respect and dignity. They are caring, professional and honest, which hard to find these days. Love working with them.”

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