Welcome to RefundTalk.com a community designed for taxpayers to connect and share updates and information while awaiting their Income Tax Refunds. Feel free to take advantage of our community to discuss your tax questions and answers. We work with Tax Professionals to get you the most up to date refund information updated daily. At RefundTalk you can use our discussion forums to connect with other taxpayers and share your actual tax experiences and find answers to most of your commonly asked questions.

Where’s my Refund?

When can I file my tax return?

The first day the IRS officially starts approving your 2017 tax return is January 22, 2018. However, many tax software programs will allow you to complete your return and “file” it starting January 4, 2018. They will then hold the returns until the IRS begins accepting them.

When are taxes due?

You must file your taxes by April 17, 2018. (April 15 is the tax deadline for most years unless it falls on a weekend or an observed holiday. April 15, 2017, is the observed holiday for Emancipation Day, for Washington DC). You can file a tax extension if you are not ready to file your taxes by the deadline.

How long does it take to process a tax return?

How long it takes to process a return depends on many factors, including whether you e-file or file a paper return. As you might have guessed, e-filing results in a much quicker turnaround time. Paper returns have to be manually entered into the system and can remain in the queue for several days (or longer) before they can be processed. Of course, the complexity of your return also affects how long it takes to process your return.

How long does it take to receive my tax refund?

The IRS has a goal of getting tax refunds to taxpayers within 21 days. They reach this goal about 90% of the time. In fact, most people receive their refunds in about 10-14 days. In previous years, the IRS created a schedule for when they will send out federal tax refunds via direct deposit or by check. The general rule of thumb is that direct deposits will be sent out a few days before paper checks are sent out (the delay for a paper check can actually take up to one week, depending on how many refunds the IRS has to process).

Are there any expected tax refund delays?

Yes. The IRS is required to hold tax refunds for taxpayers who claim Earned Income Tax Credits and Additional Child Tax credit until at least Feb. 15, 2018. Keep in mind it can still take a week to receive the refund after the IRS releases it. So some people who file early may experience delays while awaiting their refund. Refunds should be processed normally after this date. Also note that new identity theft protection and anti-fraud measures may hold up some refunds, as some tax returns may be held for further review.

2017 IRS E-File Schedule for Direct Deposit and Check Refund Dates

The IRS previously released an annual schedule to help taxpayers better plan around tax season so tax-filers will know when they can expect to receive their refund check. They stopped this practice in 2013 (2012 tax year) after there were delays in the refund process due to new anti-fraud measures.

The table below shows an approximation of when your federal tax refund should be direct deposited into your bank account or the date your check will be mailed. This table is based on previous tax return charts. Remember, this is only an estimation and not a guarantee.

How to use this tax refund chart:

This schedule only applies to tax returns filed electronically. The left column represents the date your tax refund was accepted by the IRS. This chart does not apply to tax refunds filed by mail because it takes the IRS much longer to manually process returns. There is no tax refund schedule for paper returns because it is difficult to know when the IRS will physically process your return.

Note: the first official day the IRS will accept e-filed tax returns is projected to be January 22, 2018. However, some people have reported they were able to submit their tax returns as early as the first week of January.

Tax Refund Approved By IRS (After) IRS Refund Approved By IRS (Before) 2017 Direct Deposite Date 2017 Mailed Check Date
Monday, January 16, 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 Friday, February 3, 2017 Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017 Sunday, January 29, 2017 Friday, February 10, 2017 Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017 Sunday, February 5, 2017 Friday, February 17, 2017 Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Monday, February 6, 2017 Sunday, February 12, 2017 Friday, February 24, 2017 Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017 Sunday, February 19, 2017 Friday, March 3, 2017 Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 Friday, March 10, 2017 Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017 Sunday, March 5, 2017 Friday, March 17, 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Monday, March 6, 2017 Sunday, March 12, 2017 Friday, March 24, 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Monday, March 13, 2017 Sunday, March 19, 2017 Friday, March 31, 2017 Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017 Sunday, March 26, 2017 Friday, April 7, 2017 Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Monday, March 27, 2017 Sunday, April 2, 2017 Friday, April 14, 2017 Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Monday, April 3, 2017 Sunday, April 9, 2017 Friday, April 21, 2017 Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017 Sunday, April 16, 2017 Friday, May 5, 2017 Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017 Sunday, April 23, 2017 Friday, May 12, 2017 Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Monday, April 24, 2017 Sunday, April 30, 2017 Friday, May 19, 2017 Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Monday, May 1, 2017 Sunday, May 7, 2017 Friday, May 26, 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The IRS won’t necessarily follow this schedule, and the Where’s My Refund tool is the best source for definitive information on your return as soon as it’s available. Moreover, in some cases, the IRS might get a refund back to you more quickly or longer than the table suggests.

Some important notes about this tax refund schedule:

This is only good when you E-File your taxes because the IRS will notify you of the date of acceptance – generally within 72 hours of receipt. Tax returns sent on paper forms must be manually entered into the IRS computers and there is no way to track the date of acceptance, so this chart won’t work for estimating which day your tax return will be sent.

Finally, note that the IRS is very clear that you shouldn’t plan your finances in anticipation of having your refund hit your bank account on any specific date. No tax schedule that you’ll see from any source can claim a guarantee of a date on which you’ll get your refund. Estimates like the ones above can be useful for your planning, but make sure you leave yourself some wiggle room in case your luck this tax season turns out to be bad.


2018 Tax Filing Season Dates to Remember

The table below shows 2018 deadlines for filing 2017 tax returns and requesting extensions.

An important point to note is that while you can file your taxes anytime after the beginning of the year, the IRS will not process any returns (paper or electronic) until IRS e-File goes live. As always taxes are due by April 15th (or nearest business day if on a weekend, though requesting an extension until October should not be that difficult to obtain for most taxpayers. The IRS also reiterated that filing your taxes electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund.

NEW: Tax Deadline NEW: Tax Related Activity
January 4, 2018 The first day to file a 2017 tax return, though the IRS generally will not accept e-file and free file returns until the date below. Even paper-based filings won’t be processed till later in the month
January 22, 2018 Projected Date: IRS E-file to go live, allowing submission of electronic tax returns for the vast majority of tax filers. Paper tax returns will begin processing from this date as well
January 31, 2018 Date by which you should have received a W-2 from employers you worked for during the tax year. If not, contact their HR/Payroll department to resend tax documents
February 1, 2018 Deadline for 1099 statements (factors in your AGI income) that report non-employee compensation, bank interest, dividends and distributions from a retirement plan. This date is also the deadline for self-employed individuals to file and pay in full their fourth-quarter estimated tax payment
February 15, 2018 First Day for processing EITC and ACTC-related tax returns
February 16, 2018 Financial institutions must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date.
February 18, 2018 The first day Where's My Refund? ‎on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app will be updated for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before Feb. 18, some taxpayers may see a projected date or a message that the IRS is processing their return. Taxpayers will not see a refund date on Where's My Refund? ‎or through their software packages until then.
February 26, 2018 The week the IRS will begin to release EITC/ACTC refunds to bank accounts and debit cards. -- if there are no processing issues with the tax return and the taxpayer chose direct deposit.
March 15, 2018 S Corporation and Partnership tax returns due
April 17, 2018 Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests
April 17, 2018 Tax Day* Last day for filing federal income tax returns and extension requests.
June 15, 2018 U.S. citizens or resident aliens living abroad must file tax returns and pay any taxes due by this date (or file for a four-month extension)
June 30, 2018 FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) forms due for taxpayers who have over $10,000 in total in foreign bank accounts in the prior year. No extensions aren’t allowed and forms must be filed electronically
October 15, 2018 Filing extended 2017 federal and state income returns. Note: you still need to file an extension request by April 17th
April 15, 2021 Filing a 2017 tax amendment. You can file an amended or previous year return anytime, but you have a deadline of 3 years from the original due date to claim any tax refund.

Online Tax Preparation Software Pros Cons Visit Website
Best price we could find for federal and state filing fees. Easy to use. Automatic refund calculator. Support for part-year nonresident state tax returns. A professional tax consultant is not available. Deluxe edition costs an additional $5.95 for Audit Assist and Priority Support. Can’t import W-2, 1099 or other necessary forms into program. FreeTaxUSA Box 250x250
Good customer support options. Assistance with Affordable Care Act tax implications. Import W-2 forms & 1099-B forms from participating institutions. Ensures 100% accuracy. Does not offer free federal e-filing for 1040EZ. Can’t be used for big business returns. Does not offer the services of a professional tax consultant. Liberty Tax Service
Free federal filing. Couldn’t find the answers to many of our questions. Website does not explain features. Missing many features wanted in a tax service. No ability to import W-2 or other forms. No live chat or user forums.
Price lock guarantee, accuracy guarantee, satisfaction guarantee and maximum refund pledge Affordable federal and state filing fees Free federal and state e-filing for 1040A and 1040EZ Five e-files plus 1 state return included with purchase of the download software Q&A interview guide filers about 2015 taxes and health insurance Professional audit defense Basic, Plus and Premium include identity recovery services Offers professional tax products for CPAs, accountants and other professionals Mobile version available Import W-2 forms from participating institutions as well as prior year returns and charitable donations Ensures 100% accuracy Can only import 1099-B CVS file formats with Tax Act No user forum feature TaxAct

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