When Will I Get My Tax Refund? IRS Tax Refund Calendar 2019
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.
If you’re anticipating a tax refund for the 2019 tax year, you likely have the same question many early filers do – “where’s my refund?”. Like it or not, tax season is upon us. Thanks to e-file choices, the answer to “when will I get my tax refund?” is easier than ever.
Filing taxes wasn’t always as simple. Everything was done by paper, and you had to wait weeks, if not months. Per the IRS, they issue most refunds within 21 days if you file electronically. That’s not too shabby.
Regardless if you plan to file early, which will open around January 21, 2020, or file later in the season, it’s usually exciting to receive a refund. If you’re asking yourself, “when can I expect my tax refund?” this guide is for you.
Are you planning on filing your taxes early? H&R Block is our choice for the best tax platform. They consistently offer better prices than TurboTax, and if you have a simple return, you can file your Federal Return for free.
When Will I Get My Tax Refund?
How soon you receive your tax refund largely depends on how you file your taxes. The IRS states that they process most refunds within 21 days.
If you use e-file and have an uncomplicated return, it’s suitable to expect your return within a few weeks.
However, if you mail in your taxes, you want to expect at least an additional eight weeks, if not longer. Additionally, if you have a more complicated tax situation, your refund may take longer than the typical 21-day period.
Many ask themselves, “where’s my tax refund?” and are anxious that it’s taking too long. It’s best to mark on your calendar when you filed your taxes to help quell your anxiety.
If you e-filed your taxes more than 21 days ago, and want to use the IRS refund phone number, it’s best to use their website to learn your status.
How Soon Can I File My Taxes?
Many ask themselves, “how soon can I file my taxes?” and believe they can file when they have all of their tax documentation. And, they’re correct. Technically, it’s possible to file your taxes when you have all of your tax documents.
That doesn’t mean the IRS will immediately process your return, as they won’t officially accept returns until around January 21 for the 2020 tax year.
There are several important dates to remember before filing your taxes. Those are:
- Employers have until January 31 to send you W-2s for 2019 earnings
- Clients have until January 31 to send you 1099s for 2019 freelance earnings
- Brokerages have until February 15 to send you 1099-Bs for proceeds from stock sales or dividends
You may require other tax documents to file your taxes. It’s best to consult with a tax professional to determine what those are for your situation.
Once you have all your necessary tax documents, you can file your taxes.
2020 IRS Tax Refund Schedule Chart
The first step to knowing when you can expect your tax refund is to learn the IRS tax refund schedule. The below IRS refund dates are estimates based on what the IRS has made available thus far.
However, if you have a straightforward return, it’s safe to assume the dates are trustworthy.
Do you want to know when to expect my tax refund? Here you go!
|Tax Refund 2020 Calendar|
|Date You File Taxes||When to Expect Direct Deposit||When to Expect Paper Check|
|Jan 21 - Jan 25, 2020||Feb. 7, 2020||Feb. 14, 2020|
|Jan 26 - Feb 1, 2020||Feb. 14, 2020||Feb. 21, 2020|
|Feb 2 - Feb 8, 2020||Feb. 21, 2020||Feb. 28, 2020|
|Feb 9 - Feb 15, 2020||Feb. 28, 2020||Mar. 6, 2020|
|Feb 16 - Feb 22, 2020||Mar. 6, 2020||Mar. 13, 2020|
|Feb 23 - Feb 29, 2020||Mar. 13, 2020||Mar. 20, 2020|
|Mar 1 - Mar 7, 2020||Mar. 20, 2020||Mar. 27, 2020|
|Mar 8 - Mar 14, 2020||Mar. 27, 2020||Apr. 3, 2020|
|Mar 15 - Mar 21, 2020||Apr. 3, 2020||Apr. 10, 2020|
|Mar 22 - Mar 28, 2020||Apr. 10, 2020||Apr. 17, 2020|
|Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2020||Apr. 17, 2020||Apr. 24, 2020|
|Apr 5 - Apr 11, 2020||Apr. 24, 2020||May 1, 2020|
|Apr 12 - Apr 18, 2020||May 1, 2020||May 8, 2020|
|Apr 19 - Apr 25, 2020||May 8, 2020||May 15, 2020|
|Apr 26 - May 2, 2020||May 15, 2020||May 22, 2020|
It’s best to allow several days after the 21-day window before contacting the IRS to learn the status of your tax refund. Per the IRS website, they have long wait times via their phone number.
However, if you wish to contact them, you can reach the IRS at 800-829-1040.
If you want to know your IRS tax refund status, it’s best to use the Get Refund Status on their website. You will need to provide several pieces of information to learn your IRS refund status.
That information is:
- Your Social Security Number
- Tax filing status
- Your refund amount
It’s crucial to provide the correct information, and the refund amount listed on your tax return. If any of the above three pieces of information you provide doesn’t match what the IRS has on file, you will receive an error message.
Don’t fret if you receive an error as you can access the information as often as you wish.
2019 Tax Year FAQs
Preparing your taxes is often stressful. Below are several common tax questions many ask, along with answers.
When is the deadline to file taxes for 2019?
The deadline to file taxes for the 2019 tax year is July 15, 2020. If you’re choosing e-file, your taxes must be submitted by July 15 at the latest.
If you’re mailing your taxes, they need a stamp date of July 15, 2020.
What happens if I don’t pay my taxes?
It’s tempting to avoid filing your taxes, particularly if you owe the IRS. It’s expensive to make this mistake.
The IRS charges a late fee of up to 25 percent of the unpaid tax. If you’re more than 60 days late, they charge additional fees.
If missing the deadline is a legitimate concern, apply for an extension as that gives you until October 15, 2020, to file.
Here’s the IRS link to file for an extension.
What’s the fastest way to get my tax refund?
Are you expecting to receive money back from the IRS? You may want to know the fastest way to get a tax refund.
Using e-file is the fastest way to receive your tax refund as most returns using e-file process within 21 days of receipt. Additionally, request a direct deposit of your refund to ensure the prompt arrival of the funds.
It’s appropriate to use the IRS tax refund tracker after that time to learn when you will receive your refund.
You can track your refund in three ways:
Some companies market tax refund loans to receive your funds faster. Unless you desperately need the cash, it’s best to avoid this option as they’re high in fees and may cause other issues if there’s a problem with your tax return.
Where’s my state refund?
Most individuals file their state taxes at the same time they file their federal taxes. Your state taxes often don’t take as long to process, but you still may ask yourself, “where is my state tax refund?” and not know where to start.
Click on the links below to go to your state’s tax refund tracker to learn the status of your state taxes.
How can you check your refund status?
Most individuals receiving money from the IRS want to know how to find your refund status and how to track your refund.
As discussed, the best choice to check your refund status is to use the Get Refund Status page on the IRS site or use their app.
Remember, it’s best to wait at least 21 days after filing your taxes.
What should I do with my IRS tax refund?
It’s tempting to spend your tax refund on a big screen TV. However, that’s not a wise use of found money. There are several smart uses for a tax refund, including:
Pay off debt – Do you have debt? If so, paying it down is the best thing to do for your finances.
Avant is an excellent option to consolidate and refinance that debt to lower your rates and pay it off quicker.
Similarly, if you have student loan debt, Credible is a terrific choice that allows you to compare up to ten lenders to find the best option.
Read our Credible student loan refinance review to learn more about how the platform works.
Invest – Investing is an awesome way to use your tax refund. If investing in the stock market is overwhelming to you, there are affordable ways to receive help.
Betterment is an excellent choice as they manage your investments for you, ensuring they align with your goals. They offer this at a ridiculously low price.
Don’t like the stock market? Fundrise is an excellent choice that allows you to invest in real estate with as little as $500.
Save – This sounds boring, but if you don’t have an emergency fund, saving a portion of your tax refund is a wise move.
CIT Bank is an outstanding choice for saving with their Savings Builder account. The account pays 1.75 percent, with a $100 deposit plus a recurring monthly deposit of $100.
Spending on something fun is fine, just don’t foolishly waste a large tax refund.
What are some expected tax refund delays?
If you’re asking yourself, “when will I get my tax refund?” one issue you may overlook is a typical delay. Certain credits and deductions raise questions with the IRS.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t claim them, or that there is a problem with your return. It means certain instances may cause tax refund delays. Those are:
- Claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC)
- Claiming the home office deduction
- Filing your taxes too early
- Errors on your tax return
If you claim the first three credits and deductions, it’s reasonable to expect a slight delay. Likewise, filing too early or a return with errors will cause delays.
A service like H&R Block helps you avoid the last two issues to help ensure there’s no delay in your refund. They also offer a free IRS tax refund estimator to help you see what you may receive.
Again, wait at least 21 days to use the IRS tax refund checker.
Where’s My Tax Refund: Bottom Line
Tax season is stressful for many individuals, especially those needing their refund quickly, or those with complicated tax issues. Don’t let that stress cause you to make a mistake or have unreasonable expectations.
If you’re asking yourself, “where’s my tax refund?” remember it takes time. You can use the IRS tax refund tracker but allow at least 21 days from the date you filed your taxes to receive an accurate estimation.
How many times have you asked yourself, “where’s my refund?” this tax season? What are your plans for your tax refund? How much are you anticipating receiving this tax year?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.