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When Will I Get My Tax Refund?

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When Will I Get My Tax Refund?

Tax season is officially here and for many that means you might be expecting a tax refund. So how long will your refund take to reach your bank account? In this post, we’ll explain when you should expect your refund, ways you can expedite the process, and your chances of getting audited.

When is the deadline to file my taxes?

Taxes must be filed by April 15 each year (unless it falls on a weekend). You must have your files submitted or risk a penalty. If you need more time, you can file for an extension that can provide you with extra time. You must indicate that you are filing for an extension by April 15 using IRS form 4868 otherwise a penalty might be imposed.

How To File for An Extension

Like we mentioned above, you’ll need to file IRS form 4868 which can be found here. Follow the instructions provided on the form and submit your form no later than April 15 to avoid any penalties. Extensions can last for a maximum of 6 months (exceptions if living out of the country), making them due October 15.

What penalties are imposed if I miss the deadline?

If you fail to file for an extension or submit your federal tax return by April 15, you will typically end up paying 5% of your unpaid tax amount each month, up to 25% in total. Depending on your tax liability, this can become very costly so it’s important to either file your tax return on time or file for an extension.

How long does it take to get your tax refund?

Depending on your method of filing, getting your federal tax refund can take anywhere from 21 days to 8 weeks if filing by mail. With today’s technology, the IRS has made it simpler and quicker to file your taxes and receive your refund. If you file electronically, you should receive an email within 24-48 hours of submitting your taxes acknowledging that they were received.

The next step requires the IRS to approve your refund. This step typically takes the longest amount of time and is based on the complexity of your circumstances.

After your return is approved, it typically takes 1-5 days to receive your funds via direct deposit. If you opted to have your refund mailed, it can take several additional weeks.

How to Speed Up Tax Refund

The best way to expedite your tax refund is to e-file. This method electronically submits your tax return so the IRS can process it more efficiently instead of having to scan and validate a physical copy.

Another great way to expedite your tax refund is to have it direct deposited into your bank account. This eliminates one step of the process, cutting a physical check and waiting for your mail courier to deliver it.

What are the chances that I will get audited?

Many people want to know the chances that they will get audited by the IRS. And this is not necessarily because their taxes are fraudulent, but because they do not want to deal with the stress and time that an audit can take.

The IRS might choose to audit you because they have noticed suspicious activity regarding your tax refund. If they notice a sudden drastic drop in income or an increase in business expenses, your chances of being audited might increase. But for most people, the chances of getting audited are very slim.

For the typical taxpayer, the chances of getting audited are .6%. The more money you make, the larger your chance of getting audited increases as any small missteps can be a significant amount of cash for the government.


Tax season is officially upon us and for many, a refund will be coming their way. Typically it will take anywhere from 21 days to 8 weeks depending on your method of filing and how you chose to receive your funds. You can expedite this process by e-filing and having your refund direct deposited into your bank account. Be sure to file your taxes or file for an extension by April 15 or you run the risk of an even larger tax bill. After all, Uncle Sam never takes a day off.

Looking to lower your taxes this year? Check out these strategies to lower your tax bill in 2020!

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Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.


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