Average IRS and State Tax Refund and Processing Times – Updated for 2020-2021 Tax Season

This article was last updated on June 13

The table below shows the average IRS federal refund payment over the last few years.. This is based on IRS filing statistics and can change over time as late filings or refunds are processed.

Tax Season (Tax Year-Filing Year)
Average IRS Refund
2020-2021 (current tax season)
$2,860 (estimated)
2019-2020
$2,549
2018-2019
$2,870
2017-2018
$2,895
2016-2017
$2,860
 Here is more refund information from the bigger online tax providers – > TurboTax ; TaxAct

Generally, if you e-file and use direct deposit, the IRS estimates that you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 21 days after they accept your return, unless the IRS does not send you a notification requesting additional information or an audit notice). The IRS has stated that it issues more than 90 percent of refunds within 21 days (see estimated refund schedule).

Also note that for the current tax season the IRS has announced that there will likely be tax refund payment delays. In particular for taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds may not be processed until a few weeks into the tax season in order to perform further identity verification checks.

If you did not select the electronic deposit option, getting a paper check mailed to you adds about a week.  If your return was filed by mail, then your refund can take 4 to 6 weeks from the date the IRS receives a complete and accurate return. Once your return is accepted by the IRS, the IRS processes your refund based on the IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart. Exact refund dates are based on IRS processing times and can be found in IRS Publication 2043 and IRS Topic 152 for both e-filed and mailed returns.

To find out online when the IRS currently expects to issue your refund, check the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool or IRS2Go mobile application which  is updated every night (3am to 6am EST) You’ll need to provide the following information from your tax return : social security number, filing status and the exact whole dollar amount of your expected refund.

Should I call the IRS if I haven’t received my refund?

Unfortunately calling the IRS won’t do anything to speed your refund since their call center staff are not the ones who process the (over 140 million) tax returns. The best option is still to use  check the “Where’s My Refund” page or IRS2Go application. See this article for how the IRS WMR and IRS2Go works and what each status means. If you do need to talk to a real IRS agent, this article contains some useful numbers based on what has worked for others.

When to Expect Your State Tax Refund

State refunds are processed by each individual state, so processing times will vary. As a general rule, you can expect your state tax refund within 30 days of the electronic filing date or the postmark date. To get the current status of your state tax refund, contact your state tax agency or search online for your state’s taxation website. See the table for some standard state refund processing times. Processing begins when the return is received and ends when we post the refund to your account. I will update as states release their latest processing cycle times.

Latest update : The IRS is conducting significantly more ID verification checks to deal with the increase in online tax fraud, which is also causing state tax agencies to add additional security measures resulting in delays in state tax refunds. For example, Hawaii’s taxpayers could see state refunds delayed, while a number of states are telling tax payers not to expect refund before March 1st.

StateE-FILED Return, Average Refund Processing TimePAPER Filed Return, Average Refund Processing TimeState Refund Checker
Arizona (AZ)Within 10 days of filingUp to 12 weeksAZ Check Refund Status
California (CA)Up to 2 weeks10 - 12 weeksCA Check Your Refund
Georgia (GA)30-45 business daysUp to 6 weeksGA WMR Site
Illinois (IL)2-3 weeks6 to 8 weeksIL Refund Checker
Louisiana (LA)Up to 60 days12 to 14 weeksLA Refund Status
Ohio (OH)Within 1 week6 to 8 weeksOH Check My Refund
Kentucky (KY)2-3 weeks8 to 12 weeksKY Refund Checker
Maryland (MD)Within 1 week~ 30 days to processMD Refund Checker
Michigan (MI)14 days6 to 8 weeksMichigan Taxes
New Jersey (NJ)4+ weeks12+ weeksNJ Refund Status Service
New York (NY)Up to 3 weeksUp to 6 weeksNYC Refund Checker
North Carolina (NC)Up to 8 weeksUp to 12 weeksNC Where is My Refund
Pennsylvania (PA)Up to 4 weeks8-10 weeksPA WMR Site
Utah (UT)7 to 21 daysUp to 90 daysUT Refund Checker
Virginia (VA)Up to 4 weeksUp to 8 weeksVA Refund Checker
Wisconsin (WI) Up to 4 weeksUp to 12 weeksWI Refund 123
Average Refund by State
Average Refund by State (Source : Business Insider)

I’m not going to be able to file my taxes in time. What should I do? If you can’t make that mid April deadline for filing your taxes then file an extension. The IRS says it received requests for 11 million extensions, which amounts to about 8% of all tax returns. Taxpayers who ask for an extension get an extra six months to file—your new deadline will be in mid October.  However you still need to make any expected tax liability payments. See this article for more details and restrictions on filing an extension.

175 thoughts on “Average IRS and State Tax Refund and Processing Times – Updated for 2020-2021 Tax Season

  1. I’m in IL, filed taxes on March 14 with H&R block, both were accepted same day. Received federal back March 20. State still says processing. Weird thing is I called to see if my state was going to be intercepted, I was told no; I would get my entire return back. Called back last week after 3 weeks and was told it was due to be intercepted!!! I had to send over documents to prevent that. Just my opinion but I think in addition to fraud the state is trying to hold tax refunds for organizations to collect on a debt (e.g red light tickets). Still waiting on state refund. Same children have been files year after year. They see its not fraud.

  2. Minnesota is moving like . They better hurry it up, people RELY on their money!!! That’s just disrespectful and selfish of this awful state!!

  3. Anybody know the hold up on Minnesota state tax refund! Filed one month ago and is still in the “processing” stage.

    1. I filed mine back in January and still haven’t received it. I think it’s happening with a lot of people in Minnesota

    2. I filed MN state taxes anf STILL haven’t received my refund. I filed it on 2/3!!!! ???? Ugh!

      1. Filed online MN tax return on 2/24 and still waiting – most of my colleagues got it within a week.

        1. Same i filed 2/15 still in the checking stage. Everybody i know that has filed has received theirs except for me :(

    3. the same problem… I got my federal refund in 3 days and MN state has been “reviewing” for over 2 months now…

  4. Have anyone mail there tax return in get there$$ back before six weeks?????

  5. I was just wondering. If you mailed your taxes and it’s not been processed yet can you go in and change the status to have it direct deposited?

  6. I’m in NC. I filed on 2/1 recieved my federal taxes on the 2/23. I called for my state tax on Friday 3/10 and they said it was mailed. I received my taxes today. Hope that helps.

    1. When u did ur state and it said check has been mailed how long did it take to get it

  7. I e-filed ny state 2-6-17 got my federal a week later…now its 3-6-17 and my state is still processing!!! What is going on!

    1. I also e-filed NYS, but on 2-4-17; got my federal within 10 days. I usually receive my State refund around mid to late-February. But for some reason, this year (and I don’t claim the EITC or the Child Tax Credit) my status for the last 4 weeks has been…. “We received your return and it may require further review”. I have NEVER had this issue; something else is going on!!

      1. I am going through the same thing and its been a month where is my money that I worked for

        1. I filled electronically on Jan 28. I was getting the same message as Ginger. I am now getting a message saying it has been processed and will receive notification within 30 days.. I’ve never had this issue.

  8. Massachusetts has been processing my state refund since February 6th I do not claim any income credit or have any dependents

    1. Linda, I live in California and filed the same status as you, and am receiving the same message. This is getting a little frustrating! My boyfriend claimed our kids, the credits etc…he got his back in 4 days! Hopefully we get our returns soon.

  9. Hello everyone. The NJ state taxation dept os issuing letters for those who filed early as like my self, for verification of EITC. The state is asking for SS # numbers for urself and dependents, birth certificate, w-2 forms and also 2016 IRS Transcripts. Got my letter today this is a first time for me. You can upload your documents through there njportal online. What a dam headache. Just giving heads up

  10. I never received my state refund from Colorado for 2015. I refiled in December of 2016. As to date, their web site says “Not yet received”. Can I go ahead and file 2016 before the prior year is processed?

    Thank You
    Denise

    1. You have to file even if last year’s hasn’t been processed. Sounds like you need to get in touch with the state revenue department about 2015 issues.

  11. I live in texas and and none of my information has changed since the last time i filed my taxes, i filed my son the same as last year ,i pay for health cover every month my refund has shown processing since january 27th and it is the 23rd of feb and it is still processing. Should i call the IRS?

    1. Same here filed February 29 now it’s March 10th and still processing. Do you happen to know when they let you know you’re being audited??

  12. I live in MI. My state was excepted Jan 30 and I have yet to receive anything… And no information is in the system when I check….???

  13. Hi I’m in NC and i filed federal and state on feb 6 2017. My state for some reason hasnt even started processing yet. What in the world is going on with NC state taxes?

    1. We filed Jan 30th. Its February 22nd and my husbands state just started processing today. In the message it also says that it may take up to 15 days to go into the next stage. Its all going to take awhile to get back cause of the new laws. I hope this helps.

    2. Same here. I filed mine on Feb 13 and it hasn’t even been processed yet. What’s going on with NC???

      1. Filed 2/15 and just checked today and its states it was mailed out. Lets see how long it will take for it to arrive. Also in NC.

  14. Hi I hope this helps anyone. I am in Texas and I filed on Jan 25 2017 and was accepted Jan 27 2017. I carry 3 kids and had to wait until Feb 18 2017 to see an update. Well the bars did change I should receive my DD by Feb 28 if not sooner. Also if the IRS has issued you a pin# number please use that when filing so they know its you to move the process along smooth. Again I hope this was helpful to some. :) be blessed

  15. I filed and was accepted on January 27 2017 and with the crazyness of the path act I finally got a update saying processing. Omgosh this is getting on my last nerve!!! I don’t understand why they couldn’t have moved along people who claim their own true kids and gave us our money damn!

    1. Amen to that Ebony! I filed the exact day Jan 27 and finally it says being processed!! I’m not with the fraudulent crap and I only have 1 child with my the same last name so why i have to wait smh

  16. Did any body who filed a child last tax season get there refund back early this year 2017

    1. I did, I filed with 3 dependents on January 24 and got my federal January 31st. Now my state on the other hand is still processing!

      1. I got my IRS tax refund within 8 days.I claim 2 kids, I e-filed Feb21st and got my refund early morning
        morning as a direct deposit March 1st. I was very happy & really surprised! This is one thing to be happy about with the federal government in the middle of all the current political turmoil. I never thought I would be thanking the IRS but I am grateful. My husband had open heart surgery and we really need it! However, my state of Missouri like most states is taking longer. So state refunds are taking a while.

  17. i was just wondering why my SC was accepted 2/6/2017 but still says it’s not being processed on the website? We efiled with H&R Block on 2/3/2017 and out federal & VA were accepted immediately, pressed and ready for direct deposit by 2/15/2017. We owe NC but SC still shows as not being processed. How long does it take to start the processing?

  18. My state and federal was accepted 1/28/17 qnd still is processing so tired of waiting this is bs

    1. Mines too. It makes no since my siblings we all file same day 3 out of 5 got theirs alreadu

  19. I e-filed 3 Indiana returns on Feb 1, 2017; mine, and 2 other single standard deduction taxpayers. The two I filed for have been accepted, approved, and given a date of Feb 10,2017 for direct deposit. My return was accepted on Feb 1, 2017, but nothing has changed on WMR status since, still displays “accepted’.

    1. My Indiana state was filed electronically on January 30th and was accepted immediately. Has been “in processing” ever since, with no other updates. I called and was told the same thing that the website. It’s frustrating because the website says that returns are being processed in less than 2 weeks and I’m going on week 3 with no updates.

  20. I filed 1/28/17 in the state of VA, on 2/1/17 it stated return has been received and being processed, when will it post to my account? I filed electronically.

    1. Yup mine is to. I called and they told me they haven’t started mine yet. And it was accepted on 01/25. I don’t understand the holdup

      1. no I still haven’t received mines yet. This is ridiculous. They are saying give it til the end of Feb

  21. I filed on 01/30/2017 and my state (Ohio) is processed and being sent I efiled btw.

  22. I filed my Ms. State Tax 2015 in February of 2016. To this day, I still have not received my state tax. The automatic recorder keep saying it under review. Give them 90 daya. It has been 90 days and over

  23. Useful writing ! I am thankful for the info – Does someone know where I might be able to grab a blank a form form to work with ?

  24. Has anyone received a refund on an amended Minnesota return? I know it can take up to 6 months, but am curious to see if anyone has received it sooner.

    1. I filled Feb 15 2016 for my regular taxes and found out it could be end of July before I get my state refund.

  25. I’m from MI, and I filed my taxes on March 31 on TurboTax. I got two confirmation texts saying my state and federal both went through. I received my state probably 1-2 weeks after filing, and I still have yet to get my federal.

  26. Anyone from MN and still waiting? I use my tax returns to pay summer daycare money as I am a fulltime student/part time worker—-I thought it may be hard to SAVE it for the Summer but its still not here….therefore in just a week I will likely lose my job….It doesnt fit the criteria for MN to expedite my return since I am not facing foreclosure or having my electricity disconnected, I pay my bills! ……………………..filed 2/24 and NOTHING, wondering if there are more from MN here with the same story.

    1. Yes..im from mn i filed feb 20,th nothing yet..im conviencei will never get it ..over 4 months..half way through the year

    2. It’s august 1st and I filed mine electronically Feb 1st. I’m still waiting for my return. Kinda frustrating

    3. My sister filed hers in January and finally got it 4days ago. I filed mine in april guess I’ll get it at Christmas. Sucky.

    4. I filed mine Feb 7 (mn) and still nothing from state, just says processing, federal cleared n in my hand but no state…

      1. I filed mine on Feb 8th and got federal but still waiting for state!! I’m in MN too!!

      2. Me too file 2/4 for both fed and state got fed but no state I don’t understand the hold up smh

    5. We filed on 2/3 and the website says still checking for accuracy BUT we’ve already received our Federal return 2weeks ago. Seems weird we usually get them within days of each other

    6. It’s March 8, 2017 and I still haven’t gotten my MN state return. It still says checking for accuracy. This is ridiculous. Anyone else still waiting???

      1. I filled mine February 24th here it is march 16th I called and it says my state still hasn’t been processed

      1. Filed on Feb. 11th and still waiting for state. Checked online and said received but checking for accuracy. My taxes are simple, not sure why this is taking so long this year. Just frustrating-glad i’m not the only one.

    7. I filed my taxes and they were excepted on 1/27/17 for mn and it still says it’s checking for accuracy. It’s now 3/12/17 and still nothing it’s driving me crazy

      1. I filed mine through H&R Block and when I first submitted my Minnesota tax return it wouldn’t go through and said I had to mail it but when I went in to print – it said “issue resolved” so I filed and Minnesota accepted it on January 22nd – still in “Checking for Accuracy” status. Just wondering if any else here filed through H&R Block and experienced the same issue.

        1. I filed on 2/20/17. I got my federal within a week. My Minnesota state was accepted but still is in “Checking for Accuracy” status. This seems odd because in the past, the state has been about a week behind the federal.

        2. I posted on March 17. I have an update. My refund was received through direct deposit on 3/23. Yeah!

  27. I e-filed on Mar 9th!!! with a very good financial firm….NOOOO refund as yet!!! It is May 5th…I had to show my health insurance coverage which I went through my papers and faxed it to them immediately and they e-filed AGAIN….Ive done everything correctly, how long do I wait??? I had to pay back around 5 years ago, and boy did they get on me by a deadline….When is the government going to be held accountable with their deadlines!!! We aren’t billionaires dodging taxes, we are ordinary hard working middle class people…Come one now, REALLY

  28. I filed my taxes on 4/14/16. It’s 4/27 – received my federal last week but didn’t receive my state yet (maryland). Anyone else in maryland seeing delays? Mine still just says processing.

    Seeing the posts here, perhaps 10+ days is not so bad yet…

  29. I filed my taxes on 4/14/16. It’s 4/27 – received my federal last week but didn’t receive my state yet. Anyone else in md seeing delays?

  30. What “booming economy?” Slipping into recession…slowest growth out of a recession and heading back into another one. Lowest LPR in 50+ or so years. Wow. Came here to find info, and you start off by saying something you have no clue about.

  31. I filed january11,2016 my taxes went into review the irs told me to wait 6 to 8 weeks my 8 weeks was up April 9,2016 now their saying allow and additional 12 weeks what’s going on somebody please tell me it don’t take 12 weeks 4real

  32. I did mine March 10th and it was accepted, but it is still being processed, it said within 3 weeks, but 3 weeks came, and still nothing. Im in OK

  33. I did mine Jan 22nd and still have not received a thing. A letter, something telling me there is a problem, no notice. I did receive my Federal though. I have tried calling, I have tried online chat, I have tried getting a pin number. Nothing Nothing Nothing!!!

  34. I completed my taxes on March 2nd but I still haven’t heard anything. I’m getting worried.

  35. So crazy…in California filed 1/23/2016 got our federal back but still no state….so frustrating

        1. Me and my husband also live in ms. We filed in January 2016 we received our federal return in February. They said it could take up to 90 days to get our state refund back. Well 90 days is up and still no check. This makes the second year of not gettin state back. Can they keep our state refund bc he’s a felon?

        2. Glad to see your review. Filed mines in Feb. of 2016 and still getting the same recording.

    1. Same here…. I check the CA Refund status every day! It says that it can take up to 2 months…but that was for paper file. I did an eFile!

    1. I filed the same day as you & I’m still waiting as well. I’m in GA. Frustrating!

      1. Thanks both. For GA processing times can be as long as 30-45 business days

  36. Did my taxes on the 19th, accepted same day, have direct deposit still haven’t recieved. As of today wmr stated instead of the bar that they have received my taxes and they are now being processed bs

  37. My return was filed on the 29th of January and I still haven’t received it. Does it really take that long ? It just says it’s being processed.

  38. Hey my boyfriend file is tax return on January 22 its start being process january 26 go to where is my Refund today day still processing wtf….this is a shame

  39. I filed my taxes at the end of January. Got my federal within a week. My state needed further review which could take 90 days. Which here we are 90 days later May. I called the IRS today n now they are saying it could take up to another 30 days for processing. I’m not sure what is goin on. What can they just keep adding time?

  40. Im not understanding how they haven’t yet reviewed my state taxes and getting ready to get more filers it really going to be a delay its not right to some of us we got to live to

    1. I filed February 2nd, and it’s now APRIL 12th!!!
      This is freakin Ridiculous!
      I called the tax advocates, they told me that I “should” have an answer about my money by April 13th, if not, they will contact the to see what’s the hold up, that they may need my 1040 x from my school..I asked if I can just send it to the IRS NOW so I don’t have to wait for that answer, they said no! Then they mentioned that even if I don’t get my money, the IRS has an additional 30 days to process after the April 13th date!! What??!!
      The government never sleeps on taking my taxes out my paycheck but yet makes me wait over 2 months to at least “get back to me about when my tax refund will be processing”?
      Somebody is going to hear from me and/or my lawyer if this return doesn’t come before may!

      1. That is why they say we should set up our deductions so that we break even and do not get a refund. If we are paying in more than we should be its like giving the IRS a loan, but we don’t get the interest from it…..however when the shoe is on the other foot and we owe the IRS, the interest rate we pay is RIDICULOUS! We should all try to break even, and not loan the government our hard earned money interest free!

  41. I filed electronically back in the beginning of February. It’s been two months and I have yet to receive my state refund. No one can give me any info other than “it’s processing” which is not helpful at all. Why so long this year?

    1. They say cuase some onliners from other countrys stealing information on irs.gov site but i have filed the jan 19 accepted the 20 of jan an still in processing they said lots were spit out cuase problems on there end i said well shit its aprl all ready wtf!!!

    1. I’m in the same boat as you. This is horrible! The government and the people in the powerful seats what Americans to be productive citizens, how can we? When the IRS is still processing over 100 millions tax returns months later without feedback. I’m just starting a new job, and I am a single mother. I have necessary things to do with my tax return “thats due to me” I need to survive in this cruel world where the rich gets richer and so what for the rest of us.! I’m truly disappointed n my government right now.

  42. I e filed 8 weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything when can I expect it

    1. I live in Rhode Island and I filed on 1-28-17 and received my federal on 2-23-17. I have not gotten my state it says it’s being processed and that the are viewing certain aspects on my refund ….I was told if u didn’t pay car taxes that would be a hold up I just paid mine a week ago so I’m hoping everything will work out its so annoying already it’s also being mailed so I know that takes longer my husband got his state the next day after he got his Federal on his h&r blocked wish I agreed to that instead

      1. Kayla I filed my taxes in mid February, since refunds from IRS were being held until Feb 15th anyway, and still haven’t received my RI refund which was E-filed at the same time my federal return was filed. I filed electronically like your husband did, using HR Block. No idea what’s going on with these people this year. Never happened like this before…

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