How long does it take for tax return to process

For some Americans, this year’s tax season was easy. They filed electronically, elected to have their money sent by direct deposit to their bank account and, in three weeks or less, got their refund.

The IRS said that, as of March 18, almost 52 million refunds have been issued worth more than $171 billion, with the average payment totaling $3,305.

But for others, a massive return backlog has delayed refunds or held up the processing of returns that were refiled by taxpayers because a correction or change needed to be made.

With about three weeks left in the 2022 filing season, which began Jan. 24, here’s what you need to know about why your return may have been delayed:

Have you filed your taxes? Are you now desperately waiting for the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and related systems to process them? If so, you are not alone, with millions of Americans having the same query. Allow us to provide some clarity on the whole situation.

Understanding the tax process

Millions have already filed their tax return to the IRS in hopes that their refund will be sent as soon as possible. This year households across the US are expected to receive higher refunds thanks to the remaining balance of the child tax credit and the ability to claim the third stimulus checks if it was never received.

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Facing a growing backlog of paper return the tax agency has urged filers to submit as quickly as they can to avoid seeing delays in their refund. However, while filing on or before the deadline is recommended, the IRS also warns against filing "prematurely" as mistakes can cause serious delays in reviving your refund.

How to do you check the status of your refund?

With many expecting larger refund this year, they are eager to check the status of their refund.

Refunds can be tracked through the Where's My Refund? developed by the IRS. Those who file electronically will be able to use the tracker more quickly as the system will provide you with a status update within twenty-four hours of the return's submission.Those who send in a paper return may need to wait up to four weeks before receiving an update.

While the return is being processed, it will go through three phases, all of which can be seen using the Where's My Refund tool: Return Received, Refund Approved, and Refund Sent.

How long does it take to receive a refund?

If you file electronically, the IRS says that around ninety-percent of tax filers can expect their refund within twenty-one days. If it has been longer than twenty-one days, or six weeks for those who submit a paper return, a representative at the IRS can walk through the status of your refund over the phone.

IRS offers tax filing tools

For those looking to file for free, those with a gross income of $73,000 a year or less can use the IRS' Free File Program. The IRS says that using this program is the fastest way to file electronically and receive your refund through direct deposit. All refunds will be distributed through direct deposit so long as they provide a routing and account number.

For those with low-incomes in need of correcting an issue related to an audit or refund with the IRS, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC).

Last year, the LNTC helped to "secure more than $5.8 million in tax refunds and reduced or corrected taxpayers' liabilities by over $116 million." These clinics also worked with almost three thousand tax payers to ensure they were up to date and compliant with the IRS.

Tax Refund Frequently Asked Questions

Direct Deposit is a safe, reliable, and convenient way to receive Federal payments. The Department of the Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service and the Internal Revenue Service both encourage direct deposit of IRS tax refunds. Direct Deposit combined with IRS e-file provides taxpayers with the fastest and safest way to receive refunds.

This resource page of frequently asked questions about IRS tax refunds provides financial institutions with useful information for reference while assisting customers during the tax filing season.

For other FAQs about Direct Deposit, download the Direct Deposit FAQs.

Looking for Information About Your Tax Refund?

E-file and sign up for Direct Deposit to receive your refund faster, safer, and easier! You can check the status of your refund using IRS’ Where’s My Refund?

Not using e-file? You can still get all the benefits of Direct Deposit by getting your tax refund deposited into your account. Simply provide your banking information to the IRS at the time you are submitting your taxes.

Convenience, reliability and security. No more special trips to your institution to deposit your check — a nice feature if you are busy, ill, away from home, located far from a branch or in a place where parking is hard to find. You no longer need to wait for your check to arrive in the mail. Your money will always be in your account on time. If you move without changing financial institutions, you will not have to wait for your check to catch up with you. You do not have to worry about lost, stolen or misplaced checks.

Last modified 08/25/22

Why is my refund still processing?

Reasons Your Tax Refund Can Be Delayed Errors such as an incomplete filing status. Missing information. A need for additional review. Possible identity theft or tax fraud.

How long does it take to get tax refund 2022?

Overall, the IRS anticipates most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit and there are no issues with their tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers and tax professionals to file electronically.

How long does it take to get tax refund direct deposit?

Assuming no issues, IRS issues tax refunds in less than 21 calendar days after IRS receives the tax return. IRS has an on-line tool, "Where's My Tax Refund", at that will provide the status of a tax refund using the taxpayer's SSN, filing status, and refund amount.

Why are 2022 refunds taking so long?

Is There a Delay on 2022 Tax Refunds? Last year, many taxpayers ended up waiting longer than the usual 21 days — some as long as eight weeks — to receive their refunds as the IRS was dealing with the backlog of returns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The IRS is still working through this backlog of 2020 tax returns.