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U.S. Federal Tax Return Efiling to Refund Time


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Last year my 2019 U.S. federal tax return took 21 days from Efiling to the refund posting in my U.S. bank acct.    However, this year 2020 federal return was efiled 27 Feb 2021 and the refund posted to my acct today/5 Mar 2021....6 days from Efiling to money in the bank.  I was kinda expecting at the least 21 days like where the IRS estimates it tries to process at least 90% of all returns within 21 days (those returns without errors/issues).

 

Last year's and this year's returns were basically the same....just a tad more income this year...used HR Block desktop tax software just like last year, etc.   The only difference was this year I used an IRS Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) I accidentally opted into when paying around on my IRS online acct.  The IRS website says having an IP PIN will make no difference in how fast your return is processed but helps to prevent fraudulent tax returns due to identify theft....that is, some bad guy filing a return to get your refund.  

 

Anyway, my fastest federal return refund in all my decades of filing my tax returns.  Was expecting COVID to slow things down, but it didn't.

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Someone here posted that they Efiled at/before/near the 12 Feb opening, and that they had received their DirDep refund.

 

We can check the status of our refund...

 

at the website https://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp

 

using the IRS2Go mobile app  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.irs&hl=en&gl=US

 

 

My sense is that the staff - mostly working remotely, with little else to do at this point - blew threw the accumulated (submitted pre-12 Feb, and held) EFiles, and now are maintaing a decent pace, given that most Americans haven't filed yet. They probably have a quota per day, and if they finish early, well that's a good thing.

 

I Efiled yesterday, and would be happy with 21 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by mtls2005
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One thing about the IRS Where's My Refund website in mlt2005's above post is your refund can post to your bank account days before the estimated date(s) given by the webpage.  The webpage for my refund still shows just "Approved" for the refund...hasn't moved to the "Sent" stage yet....and the wording says the refund will arrive my bank "by" 8 Mar/this coming Monday and if not credited to my bank acct by 13 Mar I should contact my bank.

 

The key word is "by" which is basically saying it should arrived by 8 Mar but could arrive earlier, which mine did.  And maybe part of the reason for early arrival is my U.S. bank will post a direct deposit one day before (probably a business day...a Mon-Fri business day) the payment instructions.    

 

Now although my refund is already posted to my bank acct the IRS Where's My Refund status probably will not move to the Sent" stage until after 8 Mar based on how it worked last year when I tracking my refund.  So, a person can easily see the money post to their bank acct days before the IRS Where's My Refund status moves to the Sent stage.

 

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The best thing about these abilities to check on the refund, IMO, is that the return has been received, and is being worked on, especially for those who file with paper/post. Last year that was a huge benefit, to me anyway.

 

I honestly don't need a minute by minute update on the status of my deposit. That said, my bank will send me a notification when the deposit is received.

 

 

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5 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

Someone here posted that they Efiled at/before/near the 12 Feb opening, and that they had received their DirDep refund.

 

We can check the status of our refund...

 

at the website https://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp

 

using the IRS2Go mobile app  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.irs&hl=en&gl=US

 

 

My sense is that the staff - mostly working remotely, with little else to do at this point - blew threw the accumulated (submitted pre-12 Feb, and held) EFiles, and now are maintaing a decent pace, given that most Americans haven't filed yet. They probably have a quota per day, and if they finish early, well that's a good thing.

 

I Efiled yesterday, and would be happy with 21 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Correct, that was me that posted. Definitely surprised at how fast the refund was approved and deposited.

Nice to see other people are having the same results.

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On 3/6/2021 at 12:34 PM, racyrick said:

Correct, that was me that posted.

 

 

Did you receieve an email from the IRS acknowledging receipt of your EFile?

 

 

 

What are the benefits of using e-file?

Email acknowledgement typically within 24 hours of submission of receipt of tax return

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mtls2005 said:

 

 

Did you receieve an email from the IRS acknowledging receipt of your EFile?

 

 

 

What are the benefits of using e-file?

Email acknowledgement typically within 24 hours of submission of receipt of tax return

 

 

 

 

I know you asked racyrick the question but just as crossfeed when I Efiled using HR Block desktop tax software within a second a popup on my tax software screen confirmed HR Block had received my return, it will be sent to the IRS, and typically it takes 6 to 8 hours for the IRS to confirm receipt....basically HR Block was just saying OK Pib, you successfully uploaded your return to us and we have already relayed it to the IRS.   It also showed such in the Check Claim Status menu area of the software.  Then a few seconds later I got an email from "HR Block" saying the same thing as the popup message/claim status area said. 

 

Then 4 minutes later I got email confirmation from "HR Block" saying the IRS had accepted my return...and about an hour later the IRS Where Is My Return was showing my return as Received.

 

But in terms of getting an email from "the IRS," No....the emails are from the tax software company...HR Block in my case.

 

 

 

 

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Yeah, I got the two emails (received, then submitted/accepted) from my tax sw provider.

 

Nothing from the IRS yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

 

 

Did you receieve an email from the IRS acknowledging receipt of your EFile?

 

 

 

What are the benefits of using e-file?

Email acknowledgement typically within 24 hours of submission of receipt of tax return

 

 

 

Pib and mtls is correct. I received an email from TurboTax that my return was accepted by the IRS and then when the return was being processed.

I then went to the IRS website to the where's my refund tab to take over from there.

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59 minutes ago, racyrick said:

I then went to the IRS website to the where's my refund tab to take over from there.

 

How quickly after receiving email #2 from TT were you able to display info on WMR?

 

For me, on WMR it says wait 24 hours AFTER receiving an email from the IRS.

 

 

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You don't get any email from the "IRS"; you only get an email from your tax software (i.e TurboTax, HRBlock, TaxAct, etc).   The IRS don't do emails for such things.

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Posted (edited)

The IRS WMR website normally updates once a day and I think that update occurs between midnight and early morning dark hours.   

 

When I filed my return it was at approx 2:45pm Thailand time and I got the HR Block email that the IRS had accepted my return 4 minutes later a 2:49pm Thailand time which would have made it 2:49am U.S. Eastern time.  I did check the  WMR website shortly after 2:49pm Thailand time but nothing was showing....but when I checked an hour or so later say around 4pm Thailand time  which would have been 4am U.S. ET the WMR was showing the return Received.

 

 

 

Edited by Pib
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I interpreted this

 

You must wait at least 24 hours after you get the acknowledgement e-mail that your tax return was received by the IRS

 

to mean an email from the IRS. I guess this refers to the second email from the Tax SW provider.

 

 

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13 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

I interpreted this

 

You must wait at least 24 hours after you get the acknowledgement e-mail that your tax return was received by the IRS

 

to mean an email from the IRS. I guess this refers to the second email from the Tax SW provider.

 

 

It means the email comes from the Tax SW provider after the Tax SW provider receives acknowledgement the IRS accepted your return that the TW SW provider relayed to the IRS.    When the Tax SW provider receives  acknowledgement that the IRS (i.e., their two systems talking to each other) has accepted your return then the Tax SW provider sends you an email; not the IRS.

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2 hours ago, racyrick said:

I received an email from TurboTax that my return was accepted by the IRS and then when the return was being processed.

I then went to the IRS website to the where's my refund tab to take over from there.

 

Thanks.

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Is this being discussed elsewhere? 

OK, along with many others I did not qualify for the 1st $1,200 stimulus check as my wife has and ITIN. 

I did receive the second $600 check via direct deposit to my US bank account right around the same time (most?) everyone else did..

I filed my 2020 tax return (married/jointly) on the first day IRS was accepting them, utilizing TurboTax. Anyway, TurboTax indicated I'd get a refund of $1200 plus the regular refund I was owed on or before March 5th. 

Hey, it's not a big deal, just curious. If other folks in my same situation HAVE received their refunds I'd like to know that. Get me working on what I what I might'a done wrong or at least find a place to hide if the the IRS is coming to take me away. haha.

PS. I've been checking the IRS "refund status" web page. It's indicated they have my return, but still processing.

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I filed with TT the last week in Jan (knowing they couldn't forward it to the IRS until the second week in Feb). On Feb 11th, I got an email from TT saying the IRS had accepted my return; no more emails from TT about the IRS processing my return.

Today (Mar 9th US time) my bank (USAA) informed me they had gotten my tax refund from the IRS. Almost a month in process -- certainly not the quick turnaround time Pib got with HR Block. Nothing unusual in my return that could of held it up..... No big deal -- just a curiosity.

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22 hours ago, Dogberry said:

I filed my 2020 tax return (married/jointly) on the first day IRS was accepting them

They do say expect "21 days" (average?). So assuming business days, maybe that's tomorrow?

 

22 hours ago, kokesaat said:

Freetaxusa filed 1 Mar, acknowledgement received right away and IRS receipt the next day.  Refund deposited on 8 Mar

I believe you hold the current record.

Did you claim any Recovery Rebate Credit (Line 31).

Well done.

 

 

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A good article on federal refund times.

 

irs tax refund schedule

Many people dread tax season. But if you’re expecting a tax refund for the 2020 tax season (filing deadline April 15, 2021), you’ve got something to look forward to. With your extra funds, you may be able to pay off some debt, start saving in a high-interest savings account or work with a financial advisor to set and reach investing and retirement goals.

 

Most people will get their tax refund within three weeks, but it varies based on how you file and how you get your refund. Let’s break down the refund schedule and how long it takes for the IRS to issue refunds.

 

When Will I Receive My Tax Refund?

irs tax refund schedule

The Where’s My Refund? tool lets you check the status of your refund through the IRS website or the IRS2Go mobile app. If you submit your tax return electronically, you can check the status of your refund within 24 hours. But if you mail your tax return, you’ll need to wait at least four weeks before you can receive any information about your tax refund. Keep in mind that you can file your 2020 taxes starting in January.

In order to find out the status of your tax refund, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number (SSN), filing status and the exact dollar amount of your expected refund. If you accidentally enter the wrong SSN, it could trigger an IRS Error Code 9001. That may require further identity verification and delay your tax refund.

Most taxpayers receive their refunds within 21 days. If you choose to have your refund deposited directly into your account, you may have to wait five days before you can gain access to it. If you request a refund check, you might have to wait a few weeks for it to arrive. The table below will give you an idea of how long you’ll wait, from the time you file, until you get your refund.

FEDERAL TAX REFUND SCHEDULE
  E-File, Direct Deposit Paper File, Direct Deposit E-File, Check in Mail Paper File, Check in Mail
Time from the day you file until you receive your refund* 1-3 weeks 3 weeks 1 month 2 months

*Note that these are just guidelines. Based on how you file, most filers can generally expect to receive a refund within these time frames.

What’s Taking So Long?

If you don’t receive your refund in 21 days, your tax return might need further review. This may happen if your return was incomplete or incorrect. The IRS may send you instructions through the mail if it needs additional information in order to process your return.

You may also experience delays if you claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, the IRS is required to hold tax returns for folks who claimed those credits until Feb. 15. If you claimed either of those tax breaks, a PATH Act message may appear when you use the Where’s My Refund? tool.

If you haven’t received your refund and you’re becoming impatient, calling the IRS will likely not help. It’s best to avoid contacting the IRS directly unless the Where’s My Refund tool prompted you to do so or it’s been 21 days since you filed your tax return electronically  – or six weeks since you mailed your paper tax return.

Note that due to the Coronavirus IRS employees have been working remotely, and paper returns are taking longer to process. Reportedly, some IRS workers have since returned to the office, but people who filed paper returns are experiencing unusual delays in receiving their refunds.

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On 3/5/2021 at 8:12 PM, Pib said:

<snip>

Anyway, my fastest federal return refund in all my decades of filing my tax returns.  Was expecting COVID to slow things down, but it didn't.

550,000 less filers this year.

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2 hours ago, Pib said:

start saving in a high-interest savings account 

A what? What planet has that guy been living on (not Pib, but the author of the article)? His reference to "high interest savings account" (certainly an oxymoron) has the highest payer being .61% (which, sadly, is a bit above the pack, as today's average rates make keeping your savings in the mattress nearly opportunity cost free). Anyway, yeah, get a $1000 tax refund, plop it into a .61% savings account, and viola! -- you're now the proud recipient of $6.10 for the year -- before taxes, of course.

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I guess I'll pile on...Used OLT.com  (On Line Taxes)  Finished at 10 am  the 10th of Feb. Received and accepted email from OLT approximate 1 hour later.  Direct deposit received sometime early morning on the 17th of Feb. Done and Dusted.

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Sounds like TurboTax is, so far, the turtle in this tax refund race...... (unless I missed somebody's report to the contrary...). Ironic, since they're probably the most expensive tax return software.

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Once a tax software company relays a person's return to the IRS which happens within seconds/minutes (once the IRS is accepting returns each year) the tax software company is out of the return processing relay race.

Now it's purely in the hands of the IRS and with every person's tax return being different (almost like how no two people have the same fingerprint)....returns ranging from super simple with other returns have multiple additional forms claiming a variety of deductions/credits. 

I expect claiming certain deduction/credits and using certain add-on forms determines how many additional IRS processing hops the return has to jump thru. 

And when a person's return gets "randomly" picked for closer review it will increase total processing time.

 

 

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On 3/10/2021 at 11:15 AM, Dogberry said:

Is this being discussed elsewhere? 

OK, along with many others I did not qualify for the 1st $1,200 stimulus check as my wife has and ITIN. 

I did receive the second $600 check via direct deposit to my US bank account right around the same time (most?) everyone else did..

I filed my 2020 tax return (married/jointly) on the first day IRS was accepting them, utilizing TurboTax. Anyway, TurboTax indicated I'd get a refund of $1200 plus the regular refund I was owed on or before March 5th. 

Hey, it's not a big deal, just curious. If other folks in my same situation HAVE received their refunds I'd like to know that. Get me working on what I what I might'a done wrong or at least find a place to hide if the the IRS is coming to take me away. haha.

PS. I've been checking the IRS "refund status" web page. It's indicated they have my return, but still processing.

Have the same thing and used turbotax. Been processing for awhile now. 

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From a Facebook private group

tax NEWS:
The IRS extended the tax deadline to May 17as they deal with a backlog of millions of tax returns from individuals and businesses for the 2019 tax year.
Last weeks stimulus package resulted in a large amount of extra paperwork and required tax preparers to update their systems. The IRS is grappling with staffing and outdated IT systems at a time when it’s also implementing sweeping tax code changes from the COVID-19 relief packages.
The latest $1.9 trillion stimulus package creates a new tax break for millions of workers who received unemployment benefits last year after businesses were forced to close and lay them off during the coronavirus pandemic.
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4 days from the day I filed until the direct deposit was in my account. 3 days for the State of California.  Been 2 weeks and still nothing on the Get My Payment portal for the Stimulus check.

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