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TurboTax Help

My return got accepted. What happens next?

Congratulations! Accepted means your e-file has passed inspection (such as Social Security numbers are correct and dependents haven't already been claimed) and the government has your tax return. Consider acceptance as your official government packing slip.

After acceptance, the next step is for the government to review your refund.

During the review process, they look for math errors on your return (extremely rare in TurboTax) and check if you owe back taxes, unpaid child support, or other debts.

If they need to make any corrections, they may offset (reduce) your refund. In some cases, the correction might even increase your refund.

Once that part's done, the government approves your refund, which means it's ready to be deposited or sent.

It can take up to 21 calendar days after acceptance for the IRS to issue your refund, although most refunds go more quickly than that, while a small handful may take a bit longer.

For state refunds, go to your state government's refund lookup service.

As you may have guessed, the government processes tax payments more quickly than refunds.

Direct debits are usually withdrawn on the payment date you specified in TurboTax. If that date falls on a weekend or official holiday, the funds are usually taken out the next business day.

If you're one of the millions who filed around the busy May 17, 2021 deadline, the government might not debit your payment until after the deadline due to high volumes. On top of that, it can take your bank a few more days to post the debit to your account.

As long as you e-filed by May 17, 2021 (or earlier) as your payment date, you won't get penalized for late payment (you will likely have until May 24, 2021 to pay it).

Credit card and check payments are treated similarly; as long as the payment was submitted or postmarked by the filing deadline, there's no late payment penalty even if the transaction posts or the check is cashed after the deadline.

If you still don't see a credit or debit transaction 7–10 days after your return has been accepted, call IRS e-file Payment Services at 1-888-353-4537 or contact your state tax agency, as appropriate.

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