IRS Tax Refund Status and Date for 2021 Returns
Your personal IRS and/or
state tax refund date can only be reported once the IRS/state has accepted and processed your 2021 Income Tax Return(s). The IRS acceptance date is not necessarily the same as the date you e-filed or submitted your return. Most returns will show on the IRS refund tool after being accepted within 24 hours or four weeks after the taxpayer mailed their return.
Important: Information on potential IRS Tax Return processing delays
2021 Tax Refund Status In 2022
Important updates on 2021 Refunds:
The IRS has provided more information on the delays they are facing with processing 2020 and 2021 Refunds. See previous articles:
IRS tax refund delays 2021 and the early 2022 National Taxpayer Advocate report for 2021 Refunds.
If you are looking for your IRS refund status when the IRS refund status tool says that information cannot be displayed at this time of there is no record of this return, consider these key points from the June 2022 report:
The IRS paper processing effort is outdated and needs updating - they intent to work on this through 2023.
The IRS needs to double their current processing rate in order to keep up, but this cannot be done due to understaffing.
The previous backlog of 20 million returns has increased to 21.3 million returns.
The IRS had around 15.8 million returns which were suspended and required manual review by IRS employees often due to the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) entries taxpayers claimed they did not receive when they actually did.
The IRS identified 12.1 million math errors for the RRC, CTC, and others.
There are. 13.3 million returns awaiting processing and 6.8 million returns which are suspended.
For these errors, the IRS issued a letter which can be responded to by the taxpayer - responding to this letter added to the delays.
The IRS works on a first come first-served basis, meaning they will continue working through previously mailed 2020 Returns before working on 2021 Returns.
The total unprocessed returns count, including induvial, businesses, and amended returns, is 23.8 million returns.
tax refunds are issued within 21 days, but some take longer. The fastest way to get your refund is to e-File your return and use direct deposit. Taxpayers generally cannot "speed up" the process in any way. This means that, if your refund is delayed, you should not file an amendment, contact the IRS, contact a tax preparer, or order a transcript. The information that is available on the IRS refund tool is the same information that IRS telephone representative or tax preparation support agents will have access to.
Here are common reasons for why your refund may be delayed:
The return is being used to claim the
Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit - both of these require additional processing times for identity verification purposes. The bank processing timeframe may be slower than others, perhaps due to your bank not processing on a weekend day.
The return requires additional review, due to incompletion, errors, or identity verification.
If additional details are needed or the IRS makes an adjustment to your return, this is generally shown on the IRS refund status tool and they will issue you a notice through the mail explaining the changes and any action needed.
Many taxpayers experienced slower than anticipated IRS tax refund processing speed or time in 2021 for their 2020 Tax Return Refund. These delays or waits are still being seen in 2022 for 2021 Returns. If your status shows that
your information entered was incorrect when you are certain you have entered the right data, this may be due to these delays, meaning they do not have record of the data or refund amount you entered in their system yet and thus cannot display the information. Because of this, you may not have a tax refund status. In some cases, you may have a status one day, then the status bar may disappear and/or you may not have any information. This does not necessarily mean the IRS does not have your return if you verified your return was accepted. Click here for the sample tax refund status messages you might see.
tax refund may still be processing due to these IRS delays. Taxpayers do not need to file an additional return nor tax amendment as this will not affect the rate at which the IRS processes returns and refunds. If your return is still processing, you can continue to check your status online once per day to see if it is updated by the IRS. It is possible that your return is affected by the amount claimed for the Recovery Rebate Credit as the IRS had confirmed that inaccurate entries of stimulus checks reported resulted in additional review time of the return in question. This may result in your credit being increased or reduced.
If your return was e-Filed and accepted, return here to check on the status of your IRS refund. Before the IRS can release your tax refund, your e-Filed must first be accepted by the IRS. Check your tax return acceptance status by
signing in to your eFile.com account. Your tax return acceptance notice will be on the first page on the right. eFile.com sends out emails as soon as your return is accepted by the IRS and state.
If you mailed your return to the IRS, there may be further delays due to the
COVID-19 Pandemic. The IRS will be processing mail in the order it is received and instructs taxpayers to not file a second return or call the IRS.
State tax refunds are processing at the expected rate:
check your state tax refund here. Post e-Filing and Tax Refund Questions
For eFile.com users only: If the IRS has not yet accepted your return and you prepared and e-filed your 2021 return via eFile.com, find out what your return status is with the IRS.
Sign into your eFile.com account
and you will see the status of your tax return on the first page (pending, accepted, or rejected). If rejected, you will find instructions on how to make the correction and re-efile your return for free.
For eFile.com Users Only:
If you selected the e-Collect or Deduct Fee from Refund tax return preparation payment option on eFile.com,
check the status of your e-Collect direct deposit tax refund here
. Once the IRS has sent your refund to our partner bank - EPS Financial - your tax refund will be transferred to the bank account you entered on your tax return.
Direct Bank Refund Deposit
If you selected during the
e-file checkout process
to receive your expected tax refund in your bank account via direct bank deposit, your refund will be electronically transferred from the IRS (U.S. Treasury) to the bank account you enter during your checkout and e-file online process on eFile.com. This is the fastest way to get your refund.
Deposit to Third Party App
If you elected to receive your refund via direct deposit to a third-party money sending app, like Venmo or PayPal, the IRS will send your refund to the account you provided during the eFile.com checkout process. This, like direct deposit, is the fastest way to receive your refund and may even be faster.
The Refund Date Estimator Tool allows you to estimate your tax refund date based on your personal refund transfer method. You can use this tool prior to e-Filing or after you e-filed or submitted your tax return. Keep in mind, once the IRS has accepted your return, the above "Where's My Tax Refund?" IRS tool is the more accurate way to check your status.
Refund Delay due to Security Checks
Estimated tax refund dates are based on the IRS acceptance date and are not guaranteed by eFile.com, the IRS, or any other online platform. Depending on IRS security procedures, the tax refund date could take up to 21 days after the IRS tax return acceptance date or as early as 7 days via the bank direct deposit method.
Security Delays: Since the IRS has added security measures for e-filing 2021 Tax Returns to decrease tax fraud, your tax refund may be delayed in 2021. The IRS requires online tax websites to add identity verification steps to ensure that the taxpayer filing their return is exactly who they say they are (i.e. security questions/answers, stronger passwords, etc.). As a result of these new security measures, the IRS may issue more refunds as paper checks, even if taxpayers requested direct deposit.
Tax Refund Offset Program
Your refund may have been adjusted, or offset
, by the Treasury Offset Program (TOP). The program is run by the Financial Management Services (FMS). Under TOP, various federal and state government agencies are authorized to seize outstanding federal or state debts from federal tax refunds. The FMS may offset part or all of your federal tax refund to pay: Unpaid child support, federal non-tax debts (including student loan repayments), state income tax debts, state unemployment compensation debts, etc. An offset for non-tax debts occurs after the IRS verified your refund to FMS for payment, but before FMS direct deposits the refund or mails a paper check to you. Though an offset reduces the amount of your expected refund via direct deposit or check, it does not delay the time you will receive the remaining refund (if any) after the offset. You will receive a notice from FMS via mail. The notice will list the original refund and offset amounts. It will also include the agency that received the offset payment and their contact information: You can call the Treasury Offset Program Call Center at (800) 304-3107.
If you e-filed or filed a joint tax return, you may be entitled to part or all of the refund offset. This rule applies if your spouse is mainly responsible for the debt. Be sure to eFile Form 8379,
Injured Spouse Allocation
, with your return to request your part of the refund. See also:
Innocent Spouse Relief
If you have non-tax debts, you can contact the agency you owe. That way, you can determine if the agency submitted your debts to TOP for refund offset. You will need to contact the agency that received the offset part of your refund, not the IRS or FMS. The notice will include instructions on how to contact the appropriate agency or agencies.
Refund Delay due to
If you mailed a tax amendment, generally you should wait 10-12 weeks before checking your
amended tax return status
. The IRS online "Where's My Refund?" service does not keep track of amendment refunds, but you can click on the
Check Tax Amendment Status
button from the above linked amendment page. This online tool provides the status of amended tax returns for the current year and up to three prior years. You can also call the IRS amended return hotline at
Amended returns are currently taking up to 16 weeks (or 4 months) for the IRS to process, so you should wait at least 10-12 weeks before checking on the status of your tax refund. If it has been over 16 weeks since you filed your amendment and you have not received your refund, you should call the IRS at
1-800-829-1040 and speak to a customer service representative. Here's a tip for when you call: Press 1 (for English), press 0 (zero), press 0 (zero), and you should be able to talk to a live person at the IRS. The best time to reach the IRS is between 7-9 AM and 6-7 PM, Monday-Friday.
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