The IRS issues most refunds in about 21 days, although some returns take more time to review.
To find out where your refund is, first check your e-file status. If it's been processed and accepted, you can begin to track your refund at the IRS Where's My Refund? site. You'll need your Social Security number or ITIN, filing status, and the exact amount of your refund to check your status. The IRS will issue your refund when your return is approved.
Here is the general timeline of e-filed returns:
Transmission > Acceptance > Processing > Approval > Refund.
Even though the IRS issues 9 out of 10 tax refunds within 21 days, it's possible your return may require additional review and take longer to process.
For some taxpayers, PATH Act requirements and other identity-protection safeguards implemented by the IRS may account for longer wait times.(Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and/or Additional Child Tax Credit)
Other things that can delay your refund include but are not limited to:
- Liens, back taxes, or refund offsets;
- Errors, inconsistencies, or missing information;
- Identity fraud;
- Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which can take 11-14 weeks to process.
Also, if you chose direct deposit, your financial institution may take up to 5 days post the refund to your account, so keep that in mind.