When to Expect Your 2020 Tax Refund

Happy New Year! Are you (like many Americans) starting to think about the upcoming tax season and when you'll get your IRS income tax refund?

The tax reform law that took effect in early 2018 will still have an effect on many Americans, with the tax returns they file from January through April 15, 2020 affecting the amount of their refunds.

Several factors can determine when a taxpayer may receive their return, including:

  • When they file
  • If the taxpayer is claiming certain credits
  • Whether the return is e-filed or sent by mail
  • Whether the taxpayer has existing debts to the federal government

The income tax season generally starts in late January, when the IRS officially starts accepting e-filed and mailed-in tax returns. However, in recent years, the start of tax season has often been delayed until early February, due to significant December changes to the tax laws. Keep that in mind this year, since if Congress makes new tax laws in December, it will likely cause a delay at the IRS. (Note: Only a few items were changed: Some credits and deductions were extended into the new tax year. So, tax season should start in late January 2020.)

The IRS is also continuing to delay processing by 2-3 weeks of income tax returns with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC), since these credits have often been abused. The additional time allows the IRS to verify that taxpayers qualify for the 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. If your IRS income tax refund is delayed, ask your tax professional, or simply use the "Where's My Refund?" tool on the IRS website. Or download the IRS2Go app to check your refund status.

"When Will I Get My 2020 Income Tax Refund?"

IRS Accepts BetweenThese Dates ==== > Direct Deposit Sent(Or Check Mailed)

1/20/20- 1/24/2020--- >   Friday 1/31/2020 * 

1/27/20- 1/31/ 20  --- > Friday 2/7/20

2/3/20- 2/7/20   --- > Friday 2/14/20 ** 

2/10/20- 2/14/20 --- >   Friday 2/21/20 ** 

2/17/20- 2/21/20   --- > Friday 2/28/20

2/24/20- 2/28/20 --- >   Friday 3/6/20

3/2/20- 3/6/20   --- > Friday 3/20/20 *** 

3/9/20- 3/13/20 --- >   Friday 3/27/20

3/16/20- 3/20/20 --- >   Friday 4/3/20

3/23/20- 3/27/20   --- > Friday 4/10/20

* = IRS may delay tax filing season by one week or more due to changes in tax law.

** = Returns with EITC or CTC may have refunds delayed until late February to verify credits.

*** = Filing during peak season can result in slightly longer waits.

3/29/20- 4/3/20 --- > Friday 4/17/20

4/6/20- 4/10/20 --- >   Friday 4/24/20

4/13/20- 4/12/20 --- >   Friday 5/1/20

4/20/20- 4/24/20 --- >   Friday 5/8/20

4/27/20- 5/1/20 --- >   Friday 5/15/20

5/4/20- 5/8/20 --- >   Friday 5/22/20

5/11/20- 5/15/20 --- >   Friday 5/29/20

5/18/20- 5/22/20   --- > Friday 6/5/20

5/25/20- 5/29/20   --- > Friday 6/12/20

6/1/20- 6/5/20 --- >  Friday 6/19/20

IMPORTANT: If you file electronically (using an online tax program or preparer), the IRS will notify you of the actual date they "accepted" your return. This is often 1-3 days from the time you actually hit the "file" or "submit" button, and it is this date that you need to use for the above chart.

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.

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