Deciphering Your IRS Cycle Code
What is an IRS Cycle Code?
The IRS cycle code is an eight-digit code that you can find on your online tax account transcript once your tax return has been accepted and posted to the IRS Master File. If you see a cycle code along with transaction code 150 posted on your tax account transcript, you’ll know that your tax return is being processed. You can use your cycle code along with the transaction codes on your tax account transcript to help determine when you could receive your tax refund.
How do I find my Tax Account Transcript?
To access your tax account transcript online, you need to visit the “Get Transcripts” page on the IRS website. From there, you’ll create your online account if you don’t have one already. Once signed in, you’ll click the link to View Tax Records and then click the GET TRANSCRIPT ONLINE button. From the dropdown menu, you’ll pick a reason for needing a transcript.
You’ll then see a list of several different types of transcripts from previous tax years. You’ll want to click on the Account Transcript of the year you want to view.
How do I find my IRS Cycle Code?
Once you have gained access to your current year’s tax account transcript, scroll down to the EXPLANATION OF TRANSACTION section of the document. There you’ll find a column labeled CYCLE that will provide your IRS cycle code. The cycle code indicates the four digits of the current cycle year, two-digit IRS cycle week, and two-digit processing day of the week.
Highlighted in red is the IRS cycle code. This eight-digit code can be found under the transaction section of your account transcript once your tax return has been accepted and posted to the IRS Master File.
IRS Cycle Code and IRS Cycle Date
Your transcript will look like this once your tax return has been accepted and entered into the IRS Master File
- IRS Cycle Code(as highlighted above in red) – You can use your cycle code to find out when your tax return entered the IRS Master File and began the processing stage. You can also use the cycle code to determine if your tax account follows daily or weekly account processing.
- IRS Processing Date(highlighted above in orange) – This computer-generated date shows the week that your 21 days are estimated to be up. This date will always be set for a future Monday date and be generated for 3 weeks out (7 days x 3 weeks = 21 days) from the cycle codes date.
What can my IRS Cycle Code tell me?
Your IRS cycle code will determine when your tax return was recorded entering the IRS Master File to start processing and whether your current year’s tax return was placed into a daily or weekly batch cycle.
The IRS cycle code is an eight-digit number that will look similar to this 20160302.
- The first four digits indicate the tax processing year (XXXX0302)
- The fifth and sixth digits are the week of the year (2016XX02)
- The seventh and eighth digits are the day of the week your IRS Account was uploaded to the IRS master file (201603XX)
If your Cycle Code Ends in:
- 01 = Friday(Daily)
- 03 = Tuesday(Daily)
- 04 = Wednesday(Daily)
- 05 = Thursday(Weekly)
Your IRS Cycle Code can help you determine when your tax return will be processed.
- If you’re in a daily processing batch cycle, you can expect to see transcript updates on Tuesdays and updates to your Where’s My Refund status on Wednesdays.
- If you’re in a weekly processing batch cycle, you can expect to see transcript updates on Fridays and updates to your Where’s My Refund status on Saturdays.
Will my IRS Cycle Code be the same as last year?
No, each time you file a new tax return, amended tax return, and possibly at different stages of the processing you will get a new IRS Cycle Code.
Can my IRS Cycle Code Change during the tax season?
No, Your IRS Cycle code will remain the same all year unless you are required to file an amended tax return.
IRS Cycle Code after filing an Amended Return?
If you need to file an amended tax return your transcript could look something like the example above. Once the amended tax return is filed and accepted into the IRS Master File, the system will generate a secondary cycle code shown in the example above as Amended Return Cycle Code.
- Your cycle code will remain the same all year and will not change. If you are required to file an amended tax return you may have an additional cycle code added to the tax transcript.
Can my IRS Cycle Code tell me when I’ll receive my tax refund?
The cycle code alone cannot tell you when you’ll receive your tax refund. The IRS cycle code and transaction codes need to be used together to give you the most accurate information about your tax return and tax refund status.
You will need to watch your tax account transcript frequently and follow the EXPLANATION OF TRANSACTIONS section on your tax account transcript and wait until you see the 846 Refund issued Transaction code to post on your transcript, indicating that you will be getting a refund and your direct deposit date has already been determined. The date next to the 846 Refund Issued is when the IRS should send your tax refund to your financial institution.