When to Expect a Tax Refund

Updated: May 6

Every year, one of the first questions I get from my clients is: "When will I get my tax refund?" (It also happens to be the most frequently asked question I get from January through May.)

The IRS officially starts to accept and process tax returns for individual filers — mailed or e-filed returns — January 27, 2020. The deadline to file 2019 tax returns is Wednesday, April 15, 2020.


The IRS set the Jan. 27 opening date to ensure the security and readiness of key tax processing systems and to address the potential impact of recent tax legislation on 2019 tax returns.


So when can you expect to get your tax return?


Several factors can affect when a taxpayer may receive their refund:

  • The filing date that the taxpayer files

  • If the taxpayer files electronically or by mail

  • Income tax returns claiming certain credits may be delayed 2-3 weeks delay.

  • Any return that includes any new tax law that took effect in the tax year

  • For Example: The 2018 tax law changes will still affect the tax returns that many Americans file from January through April 15, 2020.

Why delays for certain tax credits?


Because of a history of misuse and abuse, Taxpayers filing tax returns with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC) may experience a delay of 2-3 weeks.

EITC, Earned Income Tax Credit, is a benefit for working people who have low to moderate income. It reduces the amount of tax you owe and may also give you a refund. To learn more about EITC, Click Here


The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is a benefit for taxpayers who claim at least one child as their dependent on their tax return. It’s important for people who might qualify for this credit to review the eligibility rules to make sure they still qualify. To learn more about the CTC, click here.


If your IRS income tax refund is delayed, simply use the "Where's My Refund?" tool on the IRS website. Or download the IRS2Go app to check your refund status.

The IRS expects more than 150 million individual tax returns to be filed for the 2019 tax year, with the vast majority of those coming before the traditional April tax deadline.



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©2020 Karen Collom CPA.

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