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What does it mean when the IRS accepts your taxes?

Tax season 2022 is in full swing and the IRS is encouraging people to file their reports now, save they are delayed for any reason.

Principal Alice Hom hands out red envelopes and candy in a cultural celebration of the Lunar New Year.
Michael loccisanoAFP

Once your taxes have been filed for this year, you will receive confirmation that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has checked the return and everything is in order. This will include checking for things such as any outstanding capital gains, or if the correct dependents have been listed.

This confirmation is crucial for you to receive your tax refund. Without confirmation, there is no timetable set for when your return will be sent. If last year's returns are anything to go by, handing in your filed tax early could save you having to wait more than a year for your refund.

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How can I speed up my refund?

The most important measure is beating the queue by submitting your tax return as soon as possible. More than a week has passed since filing was opened already, so it is paramount if you think you are getting a refund by applying now.

Another measure to speed up the processing of the refund is which format the application is in. Of the two options, submitting electronically is faster by a week on average, as there is no postal delay for you receiving your refund.

Payment schedule for tax refunds

If the tax return is accepted by:
Direct deposit could be sent by:Or your check could be mailed by:
Jan. 24Feb. 4Feb. 11
Jan. 31Feb. 11Feb. 18
Feb. 7Feb. 18Feb. 25
Feb. 14Feb. 25March 4
Feb. 21March 4March 11
Feb. 28March 11March 18
March 7March 18March 25
March 14March 25April 1
March 21April 1April 8
March 28April 8April 15
April 4April 15April 22
April 11April 22April 29
April 18April 29May 6

On average, an electronic filing with a direct deposit should take between 1 and 3 weeks to arrive, in stark contrast to the expected month-long wait for receiving a postal check.

Mailing your tax returns takes the longest, so it's no wonder these applications are the ones the IRS is still processing from 2021. Waiting times from acceptance to receiving your money is between 3 weeks and 2 months. If you are in need of the money quickly, then it is advised to submit electronically. The IRS has a useful page to help assist people when filing this way.

It is not an exact science, but, for want of wandering into cliché, the sooner your taxes are filed, the better.