When Will I Get My Tax Refund and Why is my State e-file Still Pending? IRS Tax eFile Refund Cycle and Direct Deposit Schedule

This article was last updated on July 29

You’ve filed your tax return and are expecting a tax refund. Congratulations!  Now, you want to know when to expect your refund.  Generally, if you e-file and use direct deposit, the IRS estimates that you should receive your federal refund between 8 and 14 days after they accept your return (i.e. the IRS does not send you a notification requesting additional information or an audit notice). The IRS issues more than 90 percent of refunds within 21 days.

The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to again receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the IRS issued 109 million refunds, with an average refund of $2,860.

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 up 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. An estimated IRS refund chart  for the latest tax season based on date range of your filing being accepted by the IRS is shown below. 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.

Tax Return Accepted by IRS After
(WMR status = Return Received)
IRS Refund Approved
(WMR status = Refund Approved)
Estimated Refund Date (via Direct Deposit)Estimated Refund Date (via Paper Check)
January 27, 2020February 2, 2020February 14, 2020February 28, 2020
February 3, 2020February 9, 2020February 21, 2020March 6, 2020
February 10, 2020February 16, 2020February 28, 2020March 13, 2020
February 17, 2020February 23, 2020March 6, 2020March 20, 2020
February 24, 2020March 1, 2020March 13, 2020March 27, 2020
March 2, 2020March 8, 2020March 20, 2020April 3, 2020
March 9, 2020March 15, 2020March 27, 2020April 10, 2020
March 16, 2020March 22, 2020April 3, 2020April 17, 2020
March 23, 2020March 29, 2020April 10, 2020April 24, 2020
March 30, 2020April 5, 2020April 17, 2020May 1, 2020
April 6, 2020April 12, 2020April 24, 2020May 8, 2020
April 13, 2020April 19, 2020May 1, 2020May 15, 2020
April 20, 2020April 26, 2020May 8, 2020May 22, 2020
April 27, 2020May 3, 2020May 15, 2020May 29, 2020
May 4, 2020May 10, 2020May 22, 2020June 5, 2020
May 11, 2020May 17, 2020May 29, 2020June 12, 2020
May 18, 2020May 24, 2020June 5, 2020June 19, 2020
May 25, 2020May 31, 2020June 12, 2020June 26, 2020
June 1, 2020June 7, 2020June 19, 2020July 3, 2020
June 8, 2020June 14, 2020June 26, 2020July 10, 2020
June 15, 2020June 21, 2020July 3, 2020July 17, 2020
June 22, 2020June 28, 2020July 10, 2020July 24, 2020
June 29, 2020July 5, 2020July 17, 2020July 31, 2020
July 6, 2020July 12, 2020July 24, 2020August 7, 2020
July 13, 2020July 19, 2020July 31, 2020August 14, 2020
July 20, 2020July 26, 2020August 7, 2020August 21, 2020
July 27, 2020August 2, 2020August 14, 2020August 28, 2020
August 3, 2020August 9, 2020August 21, 2020September 4, 2020
August 10, 2020August 16, 2020August 28, 2020September 11, 2020
August 17, 2020August 23, 2020September 4, 2020September 18, 2020
August 24, 2020August 30, 2020September 11, 2020September 25, 2020
August 31, 2020September 6, 2020September 18, 2020October 2, 2020
September 7, 2020September 13, 2020September 25, 2020October 9, 2020
September 14, 2020September 20, 2020October 2, 2020October 16, 2020
September 21, 2020September 27, 2020October 9, 2020October 23, 2020
September 28, 2020October 4, 2020October 16, 2020October 30, 2020
October 5, 2020October 11, 2020October 23, 2020November 6, 2020
October 12, 2020October 18, 2020October 30, 2020November 13, 2020
October 19, 2020October 25, 2020November 6, 2020November 20, 2020
October 26, 2020November 1, 2020November 13, 2020November 27, 2020
November 2, 2020November 8, 2020November 20, 2020December 4, 2020
November 9, 2020November 15, 2020November 27, 2020December 11, 2020
November 16, 2020November 22, 2020December 4, 2020December 18, 2020
November 23, 2020November 29, 2020December 11, 2020December 25, 2020
November 30, 2020December 6, 2020December 18, 2020January 1, 2021
December 7, 2020December 13, 2020December 25, 2020January 8, 2021
December 14, 2020December 20, 2020January 1, 2021January 15, 2021
December 21, 2020December 27, 2020January 8, 2021January 22, 2021
December 28, 2020January 3, 2021January 15, 2021January 29, 2021
January 4, 2021January 10, 2021January 22, 2021February 5, 2021

To find out online when the IRS currently expects to specifically issue your refund, check the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” tool which  is updated every Wednesday. 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. See more refund information from the bigger online tax providers – > TurboTax  or  TaxAct

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

For the latest tax season the IRS has already 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 after February 15th in order to perform further identity verification checks. They have said to only call them after 21 days (Mid-March) if you do not get your refund payment.

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. If you don’t receive your refund in 21 days, then and only then, contact the IRS to determine why it is taking so long to receive your return.

When to Expect Your State Tax Refund

State refunds are processed by each individual state, so processing times will vary. Also while your state and federal tax information is dependent on each other, refund processing is done differently at the state level and federal (IRS) level. 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. You can see here for more on state tax refund processing times and sites.  Per the comments on that article it is not unusual for state refunds to lag the federal refund, especially earlier in the tax season. Like federal returns however state returns are also going through a lot more identity verification checks which are holding up refunds again this year.

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.

87 thoughts on “When Will I Get My Tax Refund and Why is my State e-file Still Pending? IRS Tax eFile Refund Cycle and Direct Deposit Schedule

  1. I find it incredibly insane that my wife has already received her federal return a months and a half ago or better. But here we are almost June filed the return March 3rd . And it still says her state return status is still pending. And look I get it. Them forcing everything to shut down for how ever long they plan on dragging this out putting a delay on stuff. But 2. 1/2. Almost 3 months pending. This is beyond ridiculous. The state is delaying taking their tax money from my wife’s check every week. They are making sure they get their money. It well past time they start giving people back the money that a owed to them. This is just a slap in the face to the tax payers. We want our money.

    1. I agree-we e filed on march 27 2020 and the IRS site says ” still pending” What? Now on my account page it states that our 2019 taxes were not processed! What- the IRS accepted my e file on March 27 2020. I am at a loss here! Does anyone have any insight on this matter- Please and thank you! :(

  2. Oddly enough, I have already received my Federal refund, however, I seemingly can not check on the status of my State refund and am getting both worried and frustrated. I have not received any notice by the IRS to send additional information or audit information, or what-have-you, I just would appreciate some advice on, well, anything really.

  3. I FILED MY TAXES ON FEB 4 2019.AND FEDERAL AND GA HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED. MY QUESTION IS DOSE 21 DAYS APPLY TO STATE OR JUST FEDERAL?

  4. I filed my tax return on February 21 and have received my state return but not federal. When should I expect it? Every time I check it says being processed

  5. I am wondering why i haven’t recieved my state refund and why the system is still saying that the state refund has not been processed yet but i electronically filed on January 27th 2017 and i recieved my Federal refund on February 22,1017 why hasn’t my state refund been processed when should i recieve it

  6. Filed taxes 1-30 & still can’t tell me anything? We don’t receive eic and have no children. Still don’t say anything on where’s my refund I’ve called twice and nothing

  7. I did my taxes on the 29th of January and the IRS2Go won’t show me Anything it just says they can’t provide me no information at this time

    1. Can you view your transcript online? If so, this is where you will find out exactly why you are under review by the codes that will be listed. Indeed something is wrong since you filed and was accepted on 1/30.

      Can you think or any reason you were pulled for review. Did you have any of the following:

      Common Reasons Returns are pulled for Review or Full Blown Audits:

      1. NEW changes this year compared to your last 3 years of filing? This will most definitely flag your return.
      2. Address Change?
      3. Did you file prior to receiving your W-2? (ex: did you use your last paycheck stub?) there could be a math error.
      4. Educational Credit?
      5. ID verification
      6. Add/drop dependents?
      7. Offset (owed back taxes for a prior year) which will not show up on the offset line.
      8. Have you checked the offset line (800) 304-3107
      9. Health Care Form (1095A) missing/not included

      Keep in mind IRS can fix some of these issues without sending a letter or you having to do anything. They have access to varies databases to look up and verify most info. Can you tell me what your cycle is if you can review your transcript? Have you even tried to order them yet or view online? If you can order and view the account transcript and the return transcript; that means that are done processing; but doesn’t mean the have completed the process…

      If you were accepted on 1/30/17 your cycle code should be 20170502 maybe 20170504 since efile is off by 2 days when IRS really accepts it. If you are weekly it will say 20170505.

      Once I know a little more I can determine more closely what may be going on with your delay.

      But I can tell you this; you can call an Advocate today and the will be able to look you up and tell you exactly whats the hold up…just tell them you have a hardship and they will help – 1-877-777-4778

      There is going to be an update in the morning…check and see if you have any movement; you could be a weekly/not daily filer.

      Good luck and hopefully you can reach an advocate to open a case for you. Also, you can call IRS again and tell them you are requesting a 911 Form to be submitted for an advocate to call you to help, because you have a hardship they will have to honor the request. Perhaps then you can insist they tell you if a letter is in the mail or what is the hold up…

      IRS – (800) 829-0582 ext. 652

      Keep me updated…and tell me what codes you found on your “account” transcript

      Source : https://savingtoinvest.com/people-seeing-tax-returns-and-refunds-being-processed-and-accepted/

    2. I filed my taxes JANUARY 27 N MINES STILL SAY ITS PROCESSING I CALL THE TAX LADY WHO DID IT FOR ME N ITS STILL SAYING N PROCESSING I NEED TO KNW WUTS GOING ON THIS IS FRUSTRATING BC I SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOTTEN MY TAXES I KNOW PEOPLE THAT FILED WI THE SAME LADY THAT DID MINE TAXES N THEY HAVE GOTTEN THEY MONEY ALRE DIRECT DEPOSIT N

      1. I filled soon as they opened when i check wmr no information called no info now wen i call this num it says march 8th 8003043107 its gonna ask just for ur social it should tell u if u have a debt or something

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