It’s still a bit too early to think about it, but in case you are wondering, here’s our annual chart for the #1 question we get every year: “When will I get my tax refund?” The answer is never exact, but we are able to make some educated guesses based on a few factors.
If you’ve had major income changes this year, had a child, got married or divorced, retired, bought a house, or changed investments, or made any other really significant life changes, you should definitely seek the advice of a tax professional like a CPA or EA in order to make sure you are complying with tax laws, and also taking advantage of new changes that could benefit you.
[The estimated refund date chart is below if you just want to scroll down.]
Will the 2023 tax filing season be normal? It will likely be closer to normal than it has been since 2019, the last tax filing season before COVID-19 caused widespread office closures, even at the IRS, which delayed the 2020 tax filing deadline by several months. The pandemic also ushered in many tax credits and deductions for businesses, as well as stimulus payments for most Americans. These were also sometimes given as a credit on a taxpayer’s taxes, if they did not receive payment directly.
Most individual taxpayers won’t have such issues for this tax season. For clarification, the weeks leading up to the April 18, 2023, deadline is when Americans file tax returns for income they received during the 2022 calendar year, or they can file an automatic extension, which gives them an additional six months to file.
The Tax Deadline is April 18, 2023?
Why is the 2023 tax deadline April 18 instead of April 15? Because April 15, the standard deadline, falls on a Saturday. When the deadline falls on a weekend, the IRS moves the deadline day to the next business day. However, that Monday, April 17, 2023, is Emancipation Day, a holiday recognized in Washington, D.C., where the IRS is headquartered.
April 17 is also Patriot’s Day, a state holiday in Maine and Massachusetts. As a result of all of this, the deadline for filing federal income tax returns (generally Form 1040), will be Tuesday, April 18, 2023, and most states usually follow the same calendar for state income tax returns.
Depending on when a taxpayer files, they can often receive their tax refund payments (check or direct deposit) within only 2-3 weeks.
When Will the IRS Start Accepting 2023 Tax Returns and Issuing Refunds?
The IRS usually starts accepting tax returns during the last week of January. If major new tax legislation is passed at the end of the year or early in January, however, this could push the start of tax season back by a week or two. So, early tax filers who are a due a refund can often see them as early as mid- or late February. However, taxpayers with the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit generally have their refunds delayed by about one month while the IRS confirms eligibility for these credits.
Although the last two tax filing seasons were significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the IRS extended both deadlines, the IRS is not expected to extend the tax filing deadline for 2023.
The below chart shows an estimated timeline for when a taxpayer is likely to receive their refund, based on the information we have now, and using projections based on previous years- and depending on when a person files their return. If your IRS income tax refund is delayed after you’ve filed, ask your tax professional, or simply use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website. Or download the IRS2Go app to check your refund status.
Most Americans who are expecting an income tax refund receive it by direct deposit in as little as 2 weeks, although it can take longer during the peak of the filing season, which starts in late March. So it’s a good idea to e-file your tax return as soon as you have all of your tax documents (like your W2, 1099s, mortgage and student loan interest, and other items).
Several factors can determine when a taxpayer may receive their tax return, including:
- How early they file
- If the taxpayer is claiming certain credits (especially EITC and CTC)
- Whether the return is e-filed or sent by mail
- Whether the taxpayer has existing debts to the federal government
Note: The IRS will delay processing by 2-3 weeks if an income tax return has the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC), which allows the IRS to verify that taxpayers qualify for the credits.
So, here’s the chart you were looking for. If the IRS changes tax season this year, we will update this chart. And remember: This is an estimate of when to expect your refund. It is not exact, as all taxpayers have different returns and situations. Note that the first column is when the IRS “accepts” your return, which can be 2-3 days after when you submitted it electronically. Mailing in a return can result in a few weeks’ extra delay at the beginning of the process, since the IRS will need to enter it into their computer systems manually.
Estimated 2023 IRS Income Tax Return Chart
IRS Accepts an E-Filed Return By:
Direct Deposit Sent (Or Paper Check Mailed 1 week later):
IRS may start accepting income tax returns as
early as Jan. 23, 2023.
Jan. 23, 2023*
Feb. 3 (Feb. 10)**
Jan. 30, 2023*
Feb. 10 (Feb. 17)**
Feb. 17 (Feb. 24)**
Feb. 24 (Mar. 3)**
Mar. 3 (Mar. 10)**
Mar. 10 (Mar 17)
Mar. 17 (Mar. 24)
Mar. 24 (Apr. 1)
Mar. 31 (April 7)
Apr. 7 (Apr. 14)***
* = IRS may delay start of tax season by a week or so.
** = Returns with EITC or CTC may have refunds delayed until March to verify credits.
*** = Filing during peak season can result in slightly longer waits.
IRS Accepts Return By:
Direct Deposit Sent (Or Paper Check Mailed one week later)
Apr. 3, 2023
Apr. 14 (Apr. 21)***
Apr. 21 (Apr. 28)***
Apr. 28 (May 5)
May 5 (May 12)
May 12 (May 19)
May 19 (May 26)
May 26 (June 3)
June 3 (June 10)