In This Article
Note: This information is not intended to be tax advice. Consult a tax preparation professional for tax advice.
You’re probably eager for your tax refund to hit your bank account to use or put away in savings. In fact, you may be wondering if there’s a faster way to get your money.
The answer is: yes. There are ways to speed up the process; however, the IRS’s timeline can lag if there are errors with your tax return or other issues along the way. To find out how soon you can expect your refund, let’s take a look at how the tax refund process works, the estimated tax refund schedule for 2022, and tips to get your funds earlier.
When will I get my tax refund? Know your options
If you e-filed your return, you can expect to receive a faster refund through direct deposit rather than if you mailed in your tax documents. The IRS states that paper tax returns are mailed out within 6 to 8 weeks, while those filed electronically will be issued in less than 3 weeks, and again, even faster if using direct deposit.
Choosing to receive your refund as a paper check will definitely slow down the process; therefore, if you are looking to get your money faster, e-filing and choosing direct deposit is the way to go. Although direct deposit is much faster, you should still expect to wait a few extra days for the funds to be available in your account. Depending on your financial institution, your waiting time may vary. To e-file, you may want to consider filing online through reliable websites like TurboTax, TaxAct, or E-file.
After e-filing your taxes, you will need to set up how you will receive your payment. Other than direct deposit, there are a few other options to choose from when you file electronically as to how to receive your refund, such as:
- Receipt of a debit card holding the value of the refund
- Purchase of up to $5,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds
- Split of your refund amount into up to 3 financial accounts in your name
- Contribution to a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP-IRA
If you’re a Chime member, you can choose “direct deposit” on your tax return software. You then input your Chime Checking Account number and corresponding routing number, and that’s it!
From there, you just have to wait for your refund to show up in your account. Once your refund is available Chime will send you a text alert and email. This way you will know that the money is there the second you receive it.
When choosing your delivery option, remember that it will affect how quickly you receive your money. Again, direct deposit is known as the fastest and safest way to get your tax refund, and the IRS recommends this method to taxpayers across the board.
IRS refund schedule (estimated) 2022
How soon you’re likely to receive your refund is determined in part by the IRS schedule. This schedule varies depending on when you file, how you file, and what credits you claim. The tax filing process for 2022 will most likely be back to normal, unlike the past 2 years, due to the pandemic. The IRS isn’t expected to extend the tax filing deadline for 2022, as they did in 2020 and 2021.
According to CPA Practice Advisor, the chart below shows an estimated timeline for when taxpayers who use direct deposit can expect to receive their refunds, based on current information from the IRS and projections based on previous years. These are estimates of when you will receive your refund, and it’s not exact. These dates might change due to extenuating circumstances or taxpayer-specific situations.
The IRS will start accepting income tax returns on January 31, 2022. Here are the estimated dates for when you can expect your direct deposit:
|E-filing Return Accepted||Direct Deposit Sent|
|January 31||February 11|
|February 7||February 18|
|February 14||February 25|
|February 21||March 4|
|February 28||March 11|
|March 7||March 18|
|March 14||March 25|
|March 21||April 1|
|March 28||April 8|
|April 4||April 15|
|April 11||April 22|
|April 18||April 29|
|April 25||May 6|
|May 2||May 13|
|May 9||May 20|
|May 16||May 27|
|May 23||June 4|
Since the IRS has the right to delay the start of tax season, these dates above could fluctuate or change.
3 tips for getting your tax refund faster
While there isn’t any way to guarantee exactly when your tax refund will arrive, there are a couple of ways to try to speed up the process.
- File your completed tax return as soon as possible (the current deadline is April 15, 2022): If you are missing a Form W-2 (or Form 1099 if you are an independent contractor), the process can take longer. So, at the beginning of January in any given tax year, be on the lookout for any forms you expect to receive and will need for your return. If you don’t receive them by January 31, reach out to your employer or client(s) and ask them to send these forms to you.
- Be prepared: Make sure you have the rest of your vital tax documents available and prepared for when you file your return. This includes your W-2(s), 1099s, mortgage and student loan documents, and anything related to your retirement and investment accounts.
- Ask for help: If you are unsure of how to file your taxes, consider filing your taxes with a tax professional. While going to a professional won’t guarantee a faster tax refund, an expert in the field is less likely to make errors that can hold up your money. They can also advise you on making the best decisions for your particular situation.
What to do if you don't receive your tax refund
If you chose to use direct deposit and still haven’t received your tax refund after 3 weeks, there may be a few reasons why.
First, your tax return may have included errors, such as misspelled names, incorrect social security numbers, unsigned forms, or incorrect bank account information. To avoid errors, make sure to carefully review your tax return before you click submit. If a tax preparer is completing your return for you, make sure they have all of your correct information.
Another reason for a potential hold-up is if you were a victim of identity theft or fraud. In this situation, the IRS may hold onto your return until it can work with you to rectify the situation.
If you don’t experience any of the mishaps above and are still feeling like things are moving slowly, here are 3 additional steps you can take to check on your funds:
- Use the IRS Refund Status Tracker Tool: It’s a quick and easy way to check the status of your tax refund. All you have to do is log in to the secure IRS website. To access the system, you will need to input your tax filing status, your social security number, and the amount of your tax refund. This will help you monitor the status of your refund and give you a better idea of when the money will be deposited.
- Call the IRS to check on the status of your refund: To call the IRS, you can dial the hotline at 800-829-1040. Again, you will need to be prepared and provide your social security number, tax filing status, and the amount of the refund you are expecting.
- Use the free IRS app called IRS2Go: After downloading the app, similar to the online platform, you’ll need to enter the required information into the mobile tool for an update. It’s never been easier to check your tax status while on the go!
Why is it taking so long for my tax refund check to arrive or direct deposit to hit?
The reason for your late refund could be as simple as a slight math or entry error in your return or that the IRS system is clogged up with unusually high processing volumes. Some of the most common delays are due to entry errors, tax fraud, or the IRS falling behind due to the number of filings.
If you suspect that you may be a tax fraud victim, you can contact the IRS. If the IRS uses your tax refund to offset your debts, such as unpaid student loans, state taxes, or child support, the Federal Bureau of the Fiscal Service will notify you as to why your refund was withheld and which debt it offset. Of course, you have the right to dispute the debt with whichever agency seized your refund.
My tax refund was accepted. When will it be approved?
The IRS will provide a deposit date or mail date as soon your return has been processed and your refund approved. Most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days, and you can keep track of your refund status starting 24 hours after electronically filing your return. Depending on your delivery option, timelines are subject to change.
Why is my tax return taking a long time to process?
If your tax refund was accepted, but not yet processed and sent out, there may be a few reasons for the delay. As stated above, there could be an error with your filing, which could hold up the process as the IRS works to fix the issue. If you find that there’s a long waiting period after filing, you can contact the IRS directly or monitor the status of your refund on a daily basis using the IRS Refund Status Tracker Tool.
Before you receive your tax refund, it’s a great idea to create a financial plan for spending or saving your newfound cash.
While spending it on a vacation or new clothes sounds appealing, it may be wiser to save your tax refund for future use. To get the most bang for your buck, consider opening a savings account through Chime. This way you can watch your money grow and set yourself up for financial success!