Isaac M. O’Bannon – CPA Practice Advisor
It’s still a bit too early to think about it, but in case you are wondering, here’s our annual chart for the #1 question we get every year: “When will I get my tax refund?” The answer is never exact, but we are able to make some educated guesses based on a few factors.
If you’ve had major income changes this year, had a child, got married or divorced, retired, bought a house, or changed investments, or made any other really significant life changes, you should definitely seek the advice of a tax professional in order to make sure you are complying with tax laws, and also taking advantage of new changes that could benefit you.
Will the 2023 tax filing season be normal? It will likely be closer to normal than it has been since 2019, the last tax filing season before COVID-19 caused widespread office closures, even at the IRS, which delayed the 2020 tax filing deadline by several months. The pandemic also ushered in many tax credits and deductions for businesses, as well as stimulus payments for most Americans. These were also sometimes given as a credit on a taxpayer’s taxes, if they did not receive payment directly.
Most individual taxpayers won’t have such issues for this tax season. For clarification, the weeks leading up to the April 18th, 2023, deadline is when Americans file tax returns for income they received during the 2022 calendar year, if they live abroad, they have an automatic two moths extension until June 15th or they can file a request for another extension, which gives them an additional four months to file.
The Tax Deadline is April 18, 2023?
Why is the 2023 tax deadline April 18 instead of April 15th? Because April 15th, the standard deadline, falls on a Saturday. When the deadline falls on a weekend, the IRS moves the deadline day to the next business day. However, that Monday, April 17th, 2023, is Emancipation Day, a holiday recognized in Washington, D.C., where the IRS is headquartered.
April 17th is also Patriot’s Day, a state holiday in Maine and Massachusetts. As a result of all of this, the deadline for filing federal income tax returns (generally Form 1040), will be Tuesday, April 18th, 2023, and most states usually follow the same calendar for state income tax returns.
Depending on when a taxpayer files, they can often receive their tax refund payments (check or direct deposit) within only 2-3 weeks and 4-8 weeks for the paper returns.
When Will the IRS Start Accepting 2023 Tax Returns and Issuing Refunds?
The IRS starts accepting tax returns on January 23rd. So, early tax filers who are a due a refund can often see them as early as mid- or late February. However, taxpayers with the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit generally have their refunds delayed by about one month while the IRS confirms eligibility for these credits.
The below chart shows an estimated timeline for when a taxpayer is likely to receive their refund, based on the information we have now, and using projections based on previous years- and depending on when a person files their return. If your IRS income tax refund is delayed after you’ve filed, ask your tax professional, or simply use the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS website, or Sign in to your Online Account to check your refund status.
Most Americans who are expecting an income tax refund receive it by direct deposit in as little as 2-8 weeks, although it can take longer during the peak of the filing season, which starts in late March. If you are able to e-file you will speed up the whole process.
Several factors can determine when a taxpayer may receive their tax return, including:
- How early they file.
- If the taxpayer is claiming certain credits (especially EITC and CTC).
- Whether the return is e-filed or sent by mail.
- Whether the taxpayer has existing debts to the federal government.
Taxpayers who mail a paper version of their income tax return can expect at least a 3-4 week delay at the front-end of the process, as the return has to be manually entered into the IRS system before it can be processed.
If you claim a check instead of a direct deposit the refund could be delayed up to one month more only for the check, be received in Spain.