The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it’s possible your tax return may require to be held for an additional review and take longer. Where’s My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund. The tool is updated daily so you don’t need to check more often.


The PATH Act made the following changes permanent, which became effective for the 2017 filing season, to help prevent revenue loss due to identity theft and refund fraud related to fabricated wages and withholdings:

  • The IRS may not issue a credit or refund to you before February 15th, if you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) on your tax return.
  • This change only affects returns claiming EITC or ACTC filed before February 15.
  • The IRS will hold your entire refund, including any part of your refund not associated with the EITC or ACTC.
  • Neither Tax Advocate Service nor the IRS can release any part of your refund before that date, even if you’re experiencing financial hardship.

Watch for Notices in the mail


If you are waiting for a letter or a check from the IRS in the mail. Did you know that you can sign up for USPS informed delivery? This is where you can look online and track your incoming mail through the USPS website/App and find out what mail you are receiving.

This free tool provided by the US Postal Service can help!

The IRS is Quick to mail a letter if there is a problem that will hold your return up

You may get a letter or notice from the IRS saying there’s a problem with your tax return or your refund will be delayed. There are many reasons why the IRS may be holding your refund.

  • You have unfiled or missing tax returns for prior tax years.
  • The check was held or returned due to a problem with the name or address.
  • You elected to apply the refund toward your estimated tax liability for next year.
  • The IRS is reviewing your tax return.
  • Your refund was applied to a debt you owe, to the IRS or another federal or state agency.

If the IRS is reviewing your return, they may have questions about your wages and withholding, or credits or expenses shown on your tax return. The review process could hold up your tax return anywhere from 45 to 180 days, depending on the number and types of issues the IRS is reviewing.

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