Transaction codes are used on IRS tax transcripts and WMR/IRS2Go to provide current and historical information for individual and business filers on what is happening with their tax return processing, reasons for potential delays, when a refund will be paid or why it was lower than expected (offsets).
There are dozens of codes, but Code 846, Refund Issued, is one you will generally WANT to see this on your account tax transcript (under the Explanation of Transactions section) after your return has been through IRS system processing.
Basically it means the IRS is sending you the overpayment of your taxes – i.e. your refund! This includes any interest payments. So getting this code on your transcript is a good sign and confirmation your federal tax refund is approved and getting paid.
But you will likely see several transaction codes and dates on your tax transcript prior to the 846 code showing up. I’ll discuss some of these in the sections below to help you better understand when the final refund amount shown on your 846 code is paid.
IRS Code 846: Does it Mean Your 2024 Tax Refund is Depositing Soon?
The TC 846 code will appear on your transcript once the IRS has processed your 2023 tax return and confirmed you are eligible for a refund payment in 2024.
You will see this as the REFUND SENT status on the WMR or IRS2Go app.
Note that the amount will be positive for TC 840 when refunds are issued, versus the negative amounts for tax credits codes, (e.g 766) which are payments the IRS owes you.
This can be confusing, but just check your net refund on top of your tax transcript or the figure shown in WMR or IRS2Go.
Transcript 898 and 899 Codes – Refund Applied to non IRS Debt
You may see TC 570 (adjustment) or TC 898 (BFS offset/non-IRS debt) and 971 (Notice issued) before or after your 846 code, which reflects additional adjustments the IRS has made before issuing your refund.
For example, the screenshot below shows codes 898 and 899. TC 898 is basically advising you a portion of your refund was applied to non-IRS debt (e.g another state of federal agency). This is followed by TC 899, which is a reversal of this amount and will be paid back to you in your refund.
Code 846 Date – Looking at the correct/current tax year
The 846 code can appear several times on your tax transcripts, reflecting the ongoing issuance of IRS refunds during current and prior tax years. So make sure you look at the date (year in particular) on the 846 line to ensure it lines up with the current tax year.
For example in the screenshot above, you can see a 846 code for 2021 and 2022. This means the refund has been issued for both these years.
If you don’t see if for the current year, it likely means the IRS is still processing your tax return.
Is the Code 846 date my refund direct deposit date?
Generally the 846 date is the when the IRS issues the refund payment or paper check confirmation. It could be 1 to 2 days before or after you actually receive the actual payment via direct deposit (WMR status = Refund Sent).
Paper checks can take up to a week longer to be received.
Code 846 with Future date – returns and Refunds Update
In many cases, you will see a date in the future on your 846 line. This is especially the case if you filed early and checking your transcript regularly as you eagerly wait for your tax refund.
For example below, the tax filer submitted their return in early January 2023 and were scheduled to be processed in refund cycle 20230405 (see how the refund cycle code works). This date corresponds to “Thursday, January 26, 2023”.
However you can see that the 846 line has a date of 02-01-2023. This is as expected, because it takes a few days for the refund to be paid based on your processing cycle (weekly or daily).
So this sequence of codes is a good sign that the taxpayer will get their refund on or before February 01, 2023.
I am seeing more examples of this in the current tax season, which means the IRS is much more on top of processing returns this year!
Rejected or Reduced refund payments (TC 841 and 826)
If your banking information is incorrect or your IRS electronic payment is rejected, you will still see code 846 followed by TC 841, which is a reversal of the 846 refund issued code.
A paper check will be mailed to your home address 4 to 6 weeks after the IRS gets notified of the bounced payment. See more about what TC 841 means in this article.
If you see IRS tax processing code 826 on your transcript, it means that part of your refund was taken out by the agency to pay off an existing or old tax debt. See more in this article on TC826.
When Will I see a 846 date after filing my tax return?
Generally the IRS says 90% of refunds are processed within 21 days, which is when you should also expect to see code 846 on your transcript.
But given ongoing tax return processing delays over the last two years and depending on your IRS cycle code, it could take 4 to 6 weeks for returns to complete processing.
And possibly longer if it requires special or manual handling by the IRS.
Why is my refund issued amount (TC 846) different to filing amount (TC 150) and what is 4/15 date?
To clear up some confusion about people asking about the 4/15 default date on your tax filing transcript line (TC 150), I have provided the transcript image below.
This shows how your final refund amount, shown against code 846 for the current tax season/year, is calculated based on your original filing (TC 150 line) and withholding (TC 806).
The IRS will determine credits (766 and 768) before providing the net refund amount on line 846. The date on this line (e.g. 02/22/2022) is the actual date the refund was issued by the IRS.
The 4/15 dates on other lines are just the system default or IRS processing dates, and do not correlate to when your refund is issued.
Does Code 846 affect my state tax refund?
While code 846 marks a significant milestone for you federal or IRS tax refund, it has no bearing on your state tax refunds. Code 846 on your tax transcript only reflects your federal refund. State refunds follow separate timelines and processes, and generally are much faster in paying out then your federal refund.
Also note that if the IRS requires further information or verification around your taxes, you might receive additional notices after code 846 appears. This could also happen after your refund is issued and generally due to future audits.