When To Expect My Tax Refund?

when to expect my tax refundUpdated for the 2013 Tax Year

One of the most pressing questions in the life of an early tax filer – when can I expect my tax refund to come? Before e-filing, this was always difficult to predict. First, you mail in your return. Then someone inputs all your information (and later, computers scanned in your information), then the Treasury had to issue a check, which was then mailed to you. Now, with a free IRS e-file, you can get your refund in as little as 8 days from when you file, if you elect for direct deposit.

For 9 out of 10 taxpayers, the IRS issued refunds in less than 21 days from the date the return was received last year.

Due to the 16 day government shutdown in the Fall of 2013, the IRS announced that the first day of e-Filing would be January 31, 2014.


The IRS Refund Schedule Chart

Here is a chart of when you can expect your tax refund for when the return was accepted (based on e-Filing).  This is an estimate based on past years trends, but based on early information, does seem accurate for about 90% of taxpayers.  Here is the information the IRS issued this year (2014): IRS Refund Information Guidelines.  Also, as always, you can use the link below to get your specific refund status.


Transmitted & Accepted Direct Deposit Sent Paper Check Mailed
Jan 31 and Feb 3, 2014 Feb 13, 2014 Feb 21, 2014
Feb 4 and Feb 10, 2014 Feb 21, 2014 Feb 24, 2014
Feb 11 and Feb 17, 2014 Feb 28, 2014 Mar 3, 2014
Feb 18 and Feb 24, 2014 Mar 7, 2014 Mar 10, 2014
Feb 25 and Mar 3, 2014 Mar 14, 2014 Mar 17, 2014
Mar 4 and Mar 10, 2014 Mar 21, 2014 Mar 24, 2014
Mar 11 and Mar 17, 2014 Mar 28, 2014 Mar 31, 2014
Mar 18 and Mar 24, 2014 Apr 4, 2014 Apr 7, 2014
Mar 25 and Mar 31, 2014 Apr 11, 2014 Apr 14, 2014
Apr 1 and Apr 7, 2014 Apr 18, 2014 Apr 21, 2014
Apr 8 and Apr 14, 2014 Apr 25, 2014 Apr 28, 2014
Apr 15 and Apr 21, 2014 May 2, 2014 May 5, 2014
Apr 22 and Apr 28, 2014 May 9, 2014 May 12, 2014


If, for some reason, you didn’t receive your return in the time specified above, give or take a few days, you can always use the IRS’s new tool called Get Refund Status. Since the link requires personal information, here is the non-html version: https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp.

Once you enter all your information, it will tell you what is going on with your refund.

Also, many people are concerned because they received a Reference Code when checking WMR.  Here is a complete list of IRS Reference Codes.


Free Stuff For Tax Time

Tax time is a great time to get organized in your personal finance life.  Here are a few free tools we highly recommend to help take control of your finances.

Personal Capital: Our first favorite free tool is Personal Capital.  This is online budgeting software that keeps track of all of your accounts. If you have bank accounts and investment accounts, and are looking for a free, online way to keep track of everything, you should check out Personal Capital.

Credit Sesame: Second, now is a great time to check your credit report and make sure that there are no issues.  You should be checking your credit at least once per year, and tax time is a great time to do it.  We recommend using TransUnion, because it’s free!  Plus, TransUnion has a lot of great tools to help you improve your credit if you need to, and they can help you monitor your credit over time.

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  • Haniyyah Ford-Thomas

    I filed on 01/14 and was accepted by the IRS on the 1/26 and the wmr app just says still processing, and I know people that done theirs after me and got a date of today 1/6 and still didn’t get theirs back yet either, I feel like they shouldn’t tell people that they will have their refund on a date and it’s not accurate!

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      Well, the IRS didn’t start processing returns until 1/31/14, so you have to wait 21 days from that date, not when you submitted.

  • kawana

    i filed and was accepted on 1/25. got approved and told i had a DDD for 2/6 and system stated refund was sent to my bank on 2/6. Today 2/7 im being told there is a delay in processing my return and given reference code 1121. This dont seem right at all.

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      Reference Code 1121 means that there was a problem identified on your return and a freeze was put into place. You will have to wait until they resolve the problem before you will get your return. You can find out more about IRS WMR Reference codes here: http://thecollegeinvestor.com/6186/irs-wmr-reference-codes/

  • 3kmom

    I was reviewed last year (audited) what are the chances I will be again this year? is it possible?

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      Yes, it’s possible, and your odds are the same. Just be mindful of whatever flagged for them last year and don’t repeat it.

  • jennifer

    I sent mine in on 1/31. says its been accepted but is still being processed. Will I be included in dd on 2/13 or do I have to wait for it to be processed.

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      It’s from the date accepted, not filed. So, were you accepted on 1/31, or was it 2/1 or later? Then follow the chart from there.

  • jjrt

    Is there any way you can change bank account info for the irs to send it to my right account not my closed one

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      No, you will have to wait until you get an error code and a letter in the mail from the IRS.

  • jennifer

    WMR saids my refund was mailed to me on 1/31
    .. when will I recieve my check in the mail

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      Probably 7-10 days.

  • jaz

    i filed on the 21st and was tld by sbbt that i was accepted on the 28th but im still on 1bar for wmr… when should i expect mine

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      The IRS didn’t even start to process your return until 1/31 – so you have about 2 weeks more of waiting.

  • armonda smith

    Me and my husband filed well before the 31st and we have yet to be accepted

  • cathy

    I filed through H&R Block as I always do! Was accepted and given a DD date of Feb 6th! Just got error code 1121~ we are a married couple filing jointly, no dependents no nothing! Just straight forward! Opps we are registered Republicans and Veterans! No wonder!

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      It’s not because you are a registered anything, it’s because you had a typo on your return and someone has to manually go in and see what you did.

  • Tasha

    I filed on 2/5 and it says can’t provide any information have to wait 24 hours and I have waited more then 24 hours so what’s going on?

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      I would call your provider and see what happened. The WMR doesn’t tell you anything because the IRS has not received your return.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    Yes, Reference Code 1541 is due to Back Taxes Owed.

  • sweet

    I filed on 1-31 and got accepted before the 3rd, however on the WMR site it still has me in processing. my tax preparer haven’t received any additional information regarding my tax return. Should I expect a check on the 13th without the WMR status reading its approved and given a deposit date?

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      No, I would expect it to push closer to 2/21, but you never know.

  • Dorraine Saillor

    On the WMR app the IRS provides… there seems to be a glitch. I filed my taxes late January and on the website it stated they received my refund 1/30/14. I downloaded the app for my phone and checked yesterday using the app it stated “your tax return was received on February 12, 2014″ then it states “your tax refund is scheduled to be sent to your bank by February 12, 2014″. On the website it doesn’t say received on February 12, 2014 and they don’t mention when return was received. Needless to say February 12th is a future date so my question and concern is how reliable is the app and could this be just my tax info entered into their system incorrectly somehow? Also anyone else had this problem? Thanks for your time!

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    You’ll get a letter in the mail, usually within 6 weeks, and you’ll go from there. It will probably take about 8 weeks or more to resolve.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    There is not a problem – it can take up to 21 days!

  • law666

    My return was accepted 1/30 and wmr still says processing

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      That’s completely normal – it takes up to 21 days!

  • Tammy Gau

    wmr says still processing but was able to get my tanscipt there is a code on there that says 20140705…what does that mean?

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    Within 21 days!

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    No, it will update online. You still have another week to wait.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    It takes about 2 weeks.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    Yes, if you both file for your children, you’ll get a letter in the mail within 6 weeks.

  • el poyo loco

    Mines was accepted on 2/1 and wmr still sayin processed but no bars and it say i will get a refund date when available what does that mean can anybody explain that to me.

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      It just means it’s in process – you have about another week to wait.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    Accepted just means that your name and Social Security number matches the IRS records. It could flag if both you and your ex-husband claimed the same dependent.

  • Britttany

    I filed on the 31 and still haven’t recived my refund I also lost all of my paper work how can I go about finding out when I will recive my refund

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      You can go to the IRS link above and enter your Social Security number.

  • lisa

    Hello I need a answer for my taxes I checked the irs site and it says your tax return is still being processed and a refund date will be provided to u what does that mean

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      It means what it says – your tax refund is being processed and they will tell you when you’ll get your refund.

  • Shannon Monahan Church

    what does refund to be mailed on feb 18th mean

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      It means your check was mailed today! Congrats!

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    It will be mailed on 2/24, so probably about a week after.

  • AmyMay

    Hi. I used H&R e-file for my refund this year as with the last 5 yrs. Transmitted and my return was accepted on 2/3/14. On the WMR, my status is still on the 1st bar (Received and Processing), I’ve yet to make it to the 2nd bar (accepted). Should I be worried? Or is this normal? My state refund came direct deposit early last week. So I am pretty sure everything checked out! Am I good?

    • AmyMay

      Now its has taken away the status bar on the WMR screen and says its still being processed and they will notify me of my deposit date. I wish someone could tell me whats going on.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    If it is a direct deposit, then yes. If it is a check, then that is the day it will be mailed, and you should get it about 7 days later.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    You still have about a week to wait – my advice is be patient!

  • andrea bates

    what does it mean when I call and they tell me that they cant verify my identity to access my account and to do so I have to go to local office and show id so they can let me know whats going on

    • andrea bates

      on website it just says being proc date will b avail, been like this for a cpl weeks. acc on 3rd

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    Well, 90% of filers should have received their refunds within 21 days. Sorry to say that you’re in the other 10%. You just have to wait it out.

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    The IRS issued guidelines that 90% of filers should expect their return within 21 days. You could easily be part of the 10%.

  • marcus

    I was accepted Jan. 26th. WMR still says processing.

  • travis

    Your tax return is still being processed. A refund date will be provided when available. thats all it has been saying

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    HI Taryn – it’s 21 days for 90% of filer. That means you’re in the 10% that are taking longer. Not unusual – 10% of filers breaks down to about 1 million people per week right now.

  • markv93

    i filed my taxes on feb 18th 2014, accepted same day, turbo tax say 80 % of the people who filed same day as me have gotten there refund already should i be worried is anybody in the same boat as i am

    • michael1234

      I filed the same day as you, and WMR still says “we have received your return and it is being processed”…according to the chart above (which is obviously not too accurate) I should have my money by tomorrow. guess not. Have you received yours?

      • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

        The chart is an ESTIMATED refund date chart. Most filers are actually receiving their refunds earlier than the chart.

  • kiaa

    Hey my ddate is today march 5 but wen i chec
    k emr its still on the second bar its suppose to be mailed out today can somebody help me understand

  • kiaa

    My ddate is today y is it still on the second barr

  • Cassandra

    I Filed My Taxes 02/25 Tuesday Will Be 21 Days And It Still Says My Refund Is Processing, I Dont Know Whats Going On It Doesnt Even Have The 3 Bars Up There Anymore & Im Not Getting Any Codes Or Anything When I Check The Wheres My Refund Site. Whats Going On?

  • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

    Nope, sorry.

  • mind1

    My return was accepted the first week of february. Now it’s 2 months later and WMR says still processing. How can I talk to somebody at the IRS? I tried the phone number but it is an endless cycle of auto response menus. I haven’t gotten any letters in the mail.

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      You need to call them or go to a local IRS office and see what’s going on.

  • michelle

    I got a ta march27 she had me fax her all my paperwork. She said if they release my refund early she will be calling or if they need anymore info she will call me. But she said wait until April 23 for her to give me a call back. I filed January 30,got accepted on the 30th. Can anybody tell me who has had experience with a ta help me out please. This is getting rediculous.

  • sandyy

    this has by far been the worst tax season ever…i filed my return and it was accepted feb 2nd…i havent done anything different in my return since past years and they are reviewing my return. they supposedly sent me a notice feb 24th to date still havent recieved the notice. finally got hold of someone at the irs and they transferred me to the review dept. the woman in the review dept told me they have recieved my documents (which they didnt because i still havent recieved the notice of what they needed) after trying to tell this woman they had not recieved anything from me she finally told me what i needed to send. i am so frustrated at this point. Im just gonna quit filing taxes from now on!

    • http://thecollegeinvestor.com/ Robert Farrington

      There could be a lot of reasons your return is under review, but based on your story, one thing that flags for me is the potential for identity theft. Since you never received a letter and they received documents you never sent, I would be concerned that someone is trying to file your return and take your refund.