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Refund Talk is an online tax refund information and updates publisher. Here, you can read tax news and commentary blogs covering major topics related to filing and receiving tax refunds. Refund Talk is a leading provider of tax news and important information about IRS tax laws.

 

Where’s my Refund?

When can I file my tax return?

The first day the IRS officially starts approving your 2018 tax return is January 28, 2019. However, many tax software programs will allow you to complete your return and “file” it starting January 2, 2019. They will then hold the returns until the IRS begins accepting them.

When are taxes due?

You must file your taxes by April 15, 2019. 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, 2019. 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.

2019 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 to file taxes is January 28, 2019. However, some people have reported they were able to submit their tax return as early as January 2, 2019.

Tax Refund Approved By IRS (After) IRS Refund Approved By IRS (Before) 2019 Direct Deposit Date 2019 Mailed Check Date
Monday, January 21, 2019 Sunday, January 27, 2019 Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019
Monday, January 28, 2019 Sunday, February 3, 2019 Wednesday, February 20, 2019 Friday, February 22, 2019
Monday, February 4, 2019 Sunday, February 10, 2019 Wednesday, February 27, 2019 Friday, March 1, 2019
Monday, February 11, 2019 Sunday, February 17, 2019 Wednesday, March 6, 2019 Friday, March 8, 2019
Monday, February 18, 2019 Sunday, February 24, 2019 Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Friday, March 15, 2019
Monday, February 25, 2019 Sunday, March 3, 2019 Wednesday, March 20, 2019 Friday, March 22, 2019
Monday, March 4, 2019 Sunday, March 10, 2019 Wednesday, March 27, 2019 Friday, March 29, 2019
Monday, March 11, 2019 Sunday, March 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 3, 2019 Friday, April 5, 2019
Monday, March 18, 2019 Sunday, March 24, 2019 Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Friday, April 12, 2019
Monday, March 25, 2019 Sunday, March 31, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019
Monday, April 1, 2019 Sunday, April 7, 2019 Wednesday, April 24, 2019 Friday, April 26, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019 Sunday, April 14, 2019 Wednesday, May 1, 2019 Friday, May 3, 2019
Monday, April 15, 2019 Sunday, April 21, 2019 Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Friday, May 10, 2019
Monday, April 22, 2019 Sunday, April 28, 2019 Wednesday, May 15, 2019 Friday, May 17, 2019
Monday, April 29, 2019 Sunday, May 5, 2019 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 Friday, May 24, 2019
Monday, May 6, 2019 Sunday, May 12, 2019 Wednesday, May 29, 2019 Friday, May 31, 2019
Monday, May 13, 2019 Sunday, May 19, 2019 Wednesday, June 5, 2019 Friday, June 7, 2019
Monday, May 20, 2019 Sunday, May 26, 2019 Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019
Monday, May 27, 2019 Sunday, June 2, 2019 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 Friday, June 21, 2019

*RETURNS THAT CLAIM EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT OR ADDITIONAL CHILD TAX CREDIT MUST BE HELD UNTIL FEB. 15, AND IRS ANTICIPATES REFUNDS WON’T BE DIRECT-DEPOSITED UNTIL THE WEEK OF FEB. 27.

The IRS states they’re 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 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.

2019 Tax Important Dates & Deadlines Tax Related Activity
January 2, 2019 The first day to file a 2018 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 until later in the month
January 28, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 First Day for processing EITC and ACTC-related tax returns
February 16, 2019 Financial institutions must mail out 1099-B, 1099-S and 1099-MISC forms by this date.
February 17, 2019 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 27, 2019 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, 2019 S Corporation and Partnership tax returns due
April 15, 2019 Deadline for filing state income tax returns (for most states) and extension requests
April 15, 2019 Tax Day* Last day for filing federal income tax returns and extension requests.
June 15, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 Filing extended 2018 federal and state income returns. Note: you still need to file an extension request by April 17th
April 18, 2022 Filing a 2018 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.

If you still need to e-file your return please click on a tax preparation service below!

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.
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
Very affordable pricing, especially for the number of features Free live chat and email support In-person support at Liberty Tax offices nationwide Import last year’s return from most major tax services Affordable Care Act forms and filing assistance 100% guarantee for biggest return, accuracy and customer satisfaction Free W-2 download Free professional audit assistance No phone assistance No larger business filing options Additional fee for enhanced audit assistance and storing your prior returns No downloadable software available
This online tax service charge the same fee regardless of the type of 1040 you are required to file. It does not charge extra for additional forms or self-employment income. This service does not require a credit card to file. Although this service answered several of our emails within an hour, ezTaxReturn does not publish telephone numbers on its website nor does it provide chat support. This service does not provide service for filing business returns.

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