How long does it take to get your tax refund?

Have you done your taxes yet? I am planning on doing mine this weekend and like many people as soon as I finish, I like knowing when my refund check is going to be deposited.

The quickest way to get your refund

It is probably common knowledge that you will get your tax refund quicker when you choose the direct deposit option. You also should eFile your tax return if possible and as I mentioned in a post I did about getting free state tax filing you should submit it before Friday, since they only process the eFiled returns once a week. Of course, if you don’t really care when you get your refund, take your good old time.

So when will you get your refund check?

1. If you eFiled, check the status to be sure that it was accepted by the IRS.

2. You can also check the status of your tax refund on the IRS website. This should tell you when you will be receiving your check. Although, it is good to keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t guarantee any dates, they are all approximations.

Approximate tax refund schedule 2009

Assuming you filed your taxes properly, the below schedule should give you a good estimate of when you can expect to receive your paper check from the IRS or the money in your account if you chose the direct deposit option.

Transmitted and IRS
accepted between
Bank Direct Deposit
Paper Check Sent
01/09/2009 – 01/16/2009 (11am) 01/26/2009 02/02/2009
01/16/2009 – 01/23/2009 (11am) 02/02/2009 02/09/2009
01/23/2009 – 01/30/2009 (11am) 02/09/2009 02/16/2009
01/30/2009 – 02/06/2009 (11am) 02/16/2009 02/23/2009
02/06/2009 – 02/13/2009 (11am) 02/23/2009 03/02/2009
02/13/2009 – 02/20/2009 (11am) 03/02/2009 03/09/2009
02/20/2009 – 02/27/2009 (11am) 03/09/2009 03/16/2009
02/27/2009 – 03/06/2009 (11am) 03/16/2009 03/23/2009
03/06/2009 – 03/13/2009 (11am) 03/23/2009 03/30/2009
03/13/2009 – 03/20/2009 (11am) 03/30/2009 04/06/2009
03/20/2009 – 03/27/2009 (11am) 04/06/2009 04/13/2009
03/27/2009 – 04/03/2009 (11am) 04/13/2009 04/20/2009
04/03/2009 – 04/10/2009 (11am) 04/20/2009 04/27/2009
04/10/2009 – 04/17/2009 (11am) 04/27/2009 05/04/2009
04/17/2009 – 04/24/2009 (11am) 05/04/2009 05/11/2009
04/24/2009 – 05/01/2009 (11am) 05/11/2009 05/18/2009
05/01/2009 – 05/08/2009 (11am) 05/18/2009 05/25/2009
05/08/2009 – 05/15/2009 (11am) 05/25/2009 06/01/2009
05/15/2009 – 05/22/2009 (11am) 06/01/2009 06/08/2009
05/22/2009 – 05/29/2009 (11am) 06/08/2009 06/15/2009
05/29/2009 – 06/05/2009 (11am) 06/15/2009 06/22/2009
06/05/2009 – 06/12/2009 (11am) 06/22/2009 06/29/2009
06/12/2009 – 06/19/2009 (11am) 06/29/2009 07/06/2009
06/19/2009 – 06/26/2009 (11am) 07/06/2009 07/13/2009
06/26/2009 – 07/03/2009 (11am) 07/13/2009 07/20/2009
07/03/2009 – 07/10/2009 (11am) 07/20/2009 07/27/2009
07/10/2009 – 07/17/2009 (11am) 07/27/2009 08/03/2009
07/17/2009 – 07/24/2009 (11am) 08/03/2009 08/10/2009
07/24/2009 – 07/31/2009 (11am) 08/10/2009 08/17/2009
07/31/2009 – 08/07/2009 (11am) 08/17/2009 08/24/2009
08/07/2009 – 08/14/2009 (11am) 08/24/2009 08/31/2009
08/14/2009 – 08/21/2009 (11am) 08/31/2009 09/07/2009
08/21/2009 – 08/28/2009 (11am) 09/07/2009 09/14/2009
08/28/2009 – 09/04/2009 (11am) 09/14/2009 09/21/2009
09/04/2009 – 09/11/2009 (11am) 09/21/2009 09/28/2009
09/11/2009 – 09/18/2009 (11am) 09/28/2009 10/05/2009
09/18/2009 – 09/25/2009 (11am) 10/05/2009 10/12/2009
09/25/2009 – 10/02/2009 (11am) 10/12/2009 10/19/2009
10/02/2009 – 10/09/2009 (11am) 10/19/2009 10/26/2009
10/09/2009 – 10/16/2009 (11am) 10/26/2009 11/02/2009
10/16/2009 – 10/23/2009 (11am) 11/02/2009 11/09/2009

Estimated tax refund schedule  for 2010

Transmitted and IRS accepted

between…

Bank Direct

Deposit

Paper Check

Sent

Jan 15 and Jan 21, 2010 (by 11am) Jan 29, 2010 Feb 5, 2010
Jan 21 and Jan 28, 2010 (by 11am) Feb 5, 2010 Feb 12, 2010
Jan 28 and Feb 4, 2010 (by 11am) Feb 12, 2010 Feb 19, 2010
Feb 4 and Feb 11, 2010 (by 11am) Feb 19, 2010 Feb 26, 2010
Feb 11 and Feb 18, 2010 (by 11am) Feb 26, 2010 Mar 5, 2010
Feb 18 and Feb 25, 2010 (by 11am) Mar 5, 2010 Mar 12, 2010
Feb 25 and Mar 4, 2010 (by 11am) Mar 12, 2010 Mar 19, 2010
Mar 4 and Mar 11, 2010 (by 11am) Mar 19, 2010 Mar 26, 2010
Mar 11 and Mar 18, 2010 (by 11am) Mar 26, 2010 Apr 2, 2010
Mar 18 and Mar 25, 2010 (by 11am) Apr 2, 2010 Apr 9, 2010
Mar 25 and Apr 1, 2010 (by 11am) Apr 9, 2010 Apr 16, 2010
Apr 1 and Apr 8, 2010 (by 11am) Apr 16, 2010 Apr 23, 2010
Apr 8 and Apr 15, 2010 (by 11am) Apr 23, 2010 Apr 30, 2010
Apr 15 and Apr 22, 2010 (by 11am) Apr 30, 2010 May 7, 2010
Apr 22 and Apr 29, 2010 (by 11am) May 7, 2010 May 14, 2010
Apr 29 and May 6, 2010 (by 11am) May 14, 2010 May 21, 2010
May 6 and May 13, 2010 (by 11am) May 21, 2010 May 28, 2010
May 13 and May 20, 2010 (by 11am) May 28, 2010 May 28, 2010
May 20 and May 27, 2010 (by 11am) Jun 4, 2010 Jun 11, 2010
May 27 and Jun 3, 2010 (by 11am) Jun 11, 2010 Jun 18, 2010
Jun 3 and Jun 10, 2010 (by 11am) Jun 18, 2010 Jun 25, 2010
Jun 10 and Jun 17, 2010 (by 11am) Jun 25, 2010 Jul 2, 2010
Jun 17 and Jun 24, 2010 (by 11am) Jul 2, 2010 Jul 9, 2010
Jun 24 and Jul 1, 2010 (by 11am) Jul 9, 2010 Jul 16, 2010
Jul 1 and Jul 8, 2010 (by 11am) Jul 16, 2010 Jul 23, 2010
Jul 8 and Jul 15, 2010 (by 11am) Jul 23, 2010 Jul 30, 2010
Jul 15 and Jul 22, 2010 (by 11am) Jul 30, 2010 Aug 6, 2010
Jul 22 and Jul 29, 2010 (by 11am) Aug 6, 2010 Aug 13, 2010
Jul 29 and Aug 5, 2010 (by 11am) Aug 13, 2010 Aug 20, 2010
Aug 5 and Aug 12, 2010 (by 11am) Aug 20, 2010 Aug 27, 2010
Aug 12 and Aug 19, 2010 (by 11am) Aug 27, 2010 Sep 3, 2010
Aug 19 and Aug 26, 2010 (by 11am) Sep 3, 2010 Sep 10, 2010
Aug 26 and Sep 2, 2010 (by 11am) Sep 10, 2010 Sep 17, 2010
Sep 2 and Sep 9, 2010 (by 11am) Sep 17, 2010 Sep 24, 2010
Sep 9 and Sep 16, 2010 (by 11am) Sep 24, 2010 Oct 1, 2010
Sep 16 and Sep 23, 2010 (by 11am) Oct 1, 2010 Oct 8, 2010
Sep 23 and Sep 30, 2010 (by 11am) Oct 8, 2010 Oct 15, 2010
Sep 30 and Oct 7, 2010 (by 11am) Oct 15, 2010 Oct 22, 2010
Oct 7 and Oct 14, 2010 (by 11am) Oct 22, 2010 Oct 29, 2010
Oct 14 and Oct 21, 2010 (by 11am) Oct 29, 2010 Nov 5, 2010

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16 Comments
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  1. about time i could get a legit answer

  2. Exactly wut i was looking for

  3. Gee wiz why can’t everyone give you direct answers like this?? Extremely appreciated

  4. its what i was looking for but i still have not recieve my refund. i filed it on the 26 of jan. it is for direct deposit. my bank said nothing came in yet. what should i do?

  5. Very helpful!

  6. are these dates for e-filing or when you mail in your papers? I had an accountant do mine, since he is a family friend so i did not e-file, so i am wondering when i will get my refund if i sent the papers to the office.

  7. Lauren

    I know a lot of people have been wondering how long it takes to get the first time homebuyer tax credit so I figured I would relate my experience:
    I sent my 2009 Tax Return with the HUD form by certified mail on February 22nd, 2010. I started checking the “Where’s My Refund” site but did not get any information from it until around March 22nd, when it said that I should receive my refund by April 27th if no problems were found. I kept checking the “Where’s My Refund” site periodically and then on March 30, 2010 it said it would be deposited into my account on April 2nd, 2010 and voila! It was.
    A lot of people seem to be having trouble with this (my neighbor bought their house 2 months before us in September 2009 and they amended their 2008 return and they haven’t received theirs yet).
    Anyway, I hope this helps

  8. I have no idea where this information came from. I amended my 2008 return on Feb 15 the Irs recevied it on Feb 18 still NO refund. I have called SEVERAL time with the same excuse STILL PROCESSING. It is going on 5 months no money. What am I missing? How do some people get their money quickly, some people don’t?

  9. i filled on the 13th of October 2010 and have not received anything yet? should i call the IRS? or wait one week? or till Friday?

  10. Jayne Barber

    I heard tax preparers weren’t able to submit our returns until after 2/14/11. Is that true?

  11. RYANNE S.

    SO WE HAD TO SEND A PAPER RETURN IN BUT WE OPTED FOR A DIRECT DEPOSIT, SENT IT IN ON THE 1ST OF FEB HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET THAT DIRECT DEPOSIT??

  12. Natalie L.

    I’m in the same situation as you Ryanne S. I had to send a paper return ( my first year doing so) and sent it the 1st of Feb., I just checked the irs website and it states that I should get my return BY march 22, does anyone know if it will be sooner than that? I asked for direct deposit as well

  13. If you E-filed that means it was done electronically so it takes less time to receive your refund. However if you had your taxes mailed in it takes longer. It takes about 2 weeks to receive them if u E- filed. Especially if u did them around this time, because usually everyone is doing them last minute.

  14. Nicole L.

    If you Efiled and you were trying to repay the 2008 First Time credit your refund was/is delayed.When checking the IRS “Where’s My Refund” site I was initially given a refund expectation date. A week later that date changed to an error message with an extension to call for more information. When I called I was advised by the IRS agent that there was a “glitch” in the system, due to late changes in Congress, and their systems would not process the repayment. What I do not understand is why the system did not simply reject the Efiled return. The error message has since changed to an expected refund delivery date, but the amount of the refund is now missing. Hopefully the refund will be electronically deposited as the IRS noted.

  15. Belinda M

    I sent mine in by paper on Feb 14th and was trying to repay the 2008 First Time credit. I too, when checking the “Where’s my Refund” site was given a date of April 3. Aweek later that was removed with a error. When I called they couldn’t give me a date on when I would receive my refund. Its now April 16 and I still have no info.

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