“When filing your income tax return, some of the main questions are: How much do I owe? Will I get a refund? When will I receive it? As with anything tax-related, the answer is not easy. The good news is you can estimate when you will receive your refund.
IRS Refund Schedules
For previous years, the IRS released convenient tax refund tables to let tax payers know when they can expect their refund. However, due to changes within the IRS, a full schedule is no longer available. It is still possible to determine estimated dates based on previous years’ schedules.
How to Best File to Estimate?
Estimating when you will receive your refund depends on how and when you file your 2015 income tax return. You will need to file your income tax return electronically, using either a software program or through the IRS E-File system, to determine the exact IRS acceptance date. If you file your 2015 income tax return on paper, the IRS will need to input your information in their system upon receipt, which delays acceptance, and you will not know the exact acceptance date.
If you e-file, you can check the IRS filing status within 72 hours after e-filing and 3-4 weeks after paper submission. You will need your Social Security Number, filing status and exact amount to be refunded in order to obtain the information under the “”Where’s my Refund?”” section on the IRS official website at https://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp. You can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1954, 1-800-829-4477, or 1-800-829-1040 to inquire with an IRS customer service representative.
Refund Date Estimates
The IRS allows for three options to receive your refund: direct deposit, paper check via mail, or buy US savings bonds. Of the three, direct deposit is the fastest and safest option.
If you submitted your 2015 income tax return electronically between January 19 (the first day the IRS accepts returns) and January 29, you can expect your refund either via direct deposit on February 5, 2016 or a paper check to be mailed on February 6, 2016. Remember it may take several days for the refund to make its way to you, especially if a check is mailed.
If you e-filed your income tax return between March 5-11th, you can expect to see your direct deposit in your account on March 18, or a paper check to be mailed to you March 19. If you are a procrastinator and submit your income tax return between April 9-15th, you can expect your refund via direct deposit on April 22nd or a check to be mailed on April 23rd.
If you need to file a tax extension request and file your actual income tax return between June 11-17th, then you can expect your refund via direct deposit on June 24 or a check to be mailed to you on June 25th. If you plan to file your income tax return at a later time, you can calculate an estimated refund date based on the calculations above.
Refund Schedule for Amendments
Unfortunately, there is no official schedule for tax refunds related to amended income tax returns. These types of returns are processed manually by the IRS, and often take 8-12 weeks.
Of course, nothing is certain in life, especially when it comes to government paperwork. There are recent reports that 2015 refunds are being delayed for people who filed early due to a recent computer system upgrade by the IRS. If this is indeed the case, then you have good reason to file closer to the April tax deadline.”