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 29, 2018. However, many tax software programs will allow you to complete your return and “file” it starting January 2, 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 16, 2018, 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. 17, 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.
2018 IRS E-File Schedule for Direct Deposit and Check Refund Dates
In previous years, the IRS would publish a refund cycle chart showing when a particular tax return would be deposited into a taxpayers bank account if they elected Direct Deposit of their refund. This was true if the return was electronically filed and a refund was due to the taxpayer. However, as a result of numerous fraud issues that have plagued the IRS community over the recent past, they have discontinued the use of this “Refund Cycle” chart and Publication 2043 has been revised.
Publication 2043 “IRS E-file Refund Cycle Chart” has been renamed “IRS Refund Information Guidelines for the Tax Preparation Community.” The new Publication 2043 is no longer a chart showing the refund cycle time frames. Instead, it provides guidance for taxpayers to check on their refunds. Taxpayers can also go on the IRS website and search “Where’s My Refund” to find information.
*RETURNS THAT CLAIM EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT OR ADDITIONAL CHILD TAX CREDIT MUST BE HELD UNTIL FEB. 17, AND IRS ANTICIPATES REFUNDS WON’T BE DIRECT-DEPOSITED UNTIL THE WEEK OF FEB. 28.
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.
|2018 Tax Deadline||Tax Related Activity|
|January 2, 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 29, 2018||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 16, 2018||Financial institutions must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date.|
|February 17, 2018||First Day for processing EITC and ACTC-related tax returns|
|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 28, 2018||The First Day 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.|
Future Tax Day Observances
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