Here is a breakdown of IRS processing times, how your tax return will progress through 3 stages with the IRS (“Return Received”, “Return Approved”, and “Refund Sent” once you e-file), and where you can go to check your refund status.
Refund Processing Time
Here are more answers to your common tax refund questions:
Will I see a date right away when I check status in “Where’s My Refund”?
Where’s My Refund tool will not give you a date until your tax return is received, processed, and your tax refund is approved by the IRS.
It’s been longer than 21 days since the IRS has received my tax return and I have not received my tax refund. What’s happening?
Some tax returns take longer than others to process depending on your tax situation. Some of the reasons it may take longer are incomplete information, an error, or the IRS needs to review it further.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, signed into law in December 2015, requires the IRS to hold tax refunds that include Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15, 2017 regardless of what method you used to file your taxes. The IRS began accepting and processing tax returns when they opened for the season on January 23, 2017. Tax refunds for those who claim Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit will begin to be issued on February 15, 2017, so there’s no need to wait! The sooner you e-file your return, the sooner you’ll get your tax refund. According to the IRS, taxpayers who claim the EITC or ACTC will likely see refunds the week of February 27.