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How long does it take for taxes to process?

Many Americans rely on getting their tax refund to have additional money to make a large purchase. How you file your tax return can help avoid delays.

Tax season 2023

The Internal Revenue Service is expecting to process over 168 million tax returns this year and so far the process is going more smoothly than the previous two cycles. This is in part down to a simpler filing process without last minute changes like those that were implemented during the pandemic and subsequent economic disruption.

Although there aren’t any federal stimulus payments this year there are still a handful of tax credits that taxpayers can claim that can result in thousands of dollars added onto refunds like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. Depending on how you file can make a big difference in how long it will take to process your tax return and get your refund. In order to avoid delays it is recommended that you prepare your filing correctly.

The IRS says that it can process most tax returns that are received electronically within 21 days from the time they are received. The IRS will then issue your tax refund, and the agency recommends using direct deposit to ensure that it arrives faster.

For those that opt to file a paper return, the agency say that “if you file a complete and accurate paper tax return, your refund should be issued in about six to eight weeks from the date IRS receives your return,” but warns that it could take up to six months before a tax refund is issued.

You may be interested in: IRS forms to receive up to $7,000 Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

How to do you check the status of your refund?

Refunds can be tracked through the Where’s My Refund? developed by the IRS. Those who file electronically will be able to use the tracker more quickly as the system will provide you with a status update within twenty-four hours of the return’s submission.Those who send in a paper return may need to wait up to four weeks before receiving an update.

While the return is being processed, it will go through three phases, all of which can be seen using the Where’s My Refund tool: Return Received, Refund Approved, and Refund Sent.

You may be interested in: Requirements to receive up to $2000 Child Tax Credit in 2023

How long does it take to receive a refund?

If you file electronically, the IRS says that around ninety-percent of tax filers can expect their refund within twenty-one days. If it has been longer than twenty-one daysor six weeks for those who submit a paper return, a representative at the IRS can walk through the status of your refund over the phone.

IRS offers tax filing tools

For those looking to file for free, those with a gross income of $73,000 a year or less can use the IRS’ Free File Program. The IRS says that using this program is the fastest way to file electronically and receive your refund through direct deposit. All refunds will be distributed through direct deposit so long as they provide a routing and account number.

For those with low-incomes in need of correcting an issue related to an audit or refund with the IRS, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC).


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