2013 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart

Refund Cycle Chart

The IRS has quit publishing the popular Refund Cycle Chart. So there won’t be a 2013 IRS e-file refund cycle chart.

The IRS works hard to issue refunds as quickly as possible, but some tax returns take longer to process than others for many reasons, including when a return:

  • includes errors
  • is incomplete
  • needs further review
  • is impacted by identity theft or fraud
  • includes Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation which could take up to 14 weeks to process


2013 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart

Most properly completed tax refunds are issued within 21 days if no problems, like those listed above, are triggered. Some as fast as under 10 days.

The IRS wants to remind you to use caution and don’t count on getting your refund by a certain date to make major purchases or pay other financial obligations. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer.

While the refund cycle chart has been retired you can use the new and improved “Where’s My Refund?” service to track your refund.

Please be patient, the IRS only updates their system once a day, usually overnight. The IRS call center and the Where’s My Refund system was recently overwhelmed with the large amount of people checking on their refunds several times a day.

2012 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart

2012 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart for Tax Year 2011

* This is the projected date that the refund will be direct deposited or mailed. It may take up to 5 additional days for the financial institution to post the refund to your account, or for mail delivery

IRS Refund Chart for 2011

IRS accepts your return (by 11:00 am) between… Projected Direct Deposit Sent* Projected Paper Check Mailed*
Jan 17 and Jan 18, 2012 Jan 25, 2012 Jan 27, 2012
Jan 19 and Jan 25, 2012 Feb 1, 2012 Feb 3, 2012
Jan 26 and Feb 1, 2012 Feb 8, 2012 Feb 10, 2012
Feb 2 and Feb 8, 2012 Feb 15, 2012 Feb 17, 2012
Feb 9 and Feb 15, 2012 Feb 22, 2012 Feb 24, 2012
Feb 16 and Feb 22, 2012 Feb 29, 2012 Mar 2, 2012
Feb 23 and Feb 29, 2012 Mar 7, 2012 Mar 9, 2012
Mar 1 and Mar 7, 2012 Mar 14, 2012 Mar 16, 2012
Mar 8 and Mar 14, 2012 Mar 21, 2012 Mar 23, 2012
Mar 15 and Mar 21, 2012 Mar 28, 2012 Mar 30, 2012
Mar 22 and Mar 28, 2012 Apr 4, 2012 Apr 6, 2012
Mar 29 and Apr 4, 2012 Apr 11, 2012 Apr 13, 2012
Apr 5 and Apr 11, 2012 Apr 18, 2012 Apr 20, 2012
Apr 12 and Apr 18, 2012 Apr 25, 2012 Apr 27, 2012
Apr 19 and Apr 25, 2012 May 2, 2012 May 4, 2012
Apr 26 and May 2, 2012 May 9, 2012 May 11, 2012
May 3 and May 9, 2012 May 16, 2012 May 18, 2012
May 10 and May 16, 2012 May 23, 2012 May 25, 2012
May 17 and May 23, 2012 May 30, 2012 Jun 1, 2012
May 24 and May 30, 2012 Jun 6, 2012 Jun 8, 2012
May 31 and Jun 6, 2012 Jun 13, 2012 Jun 15, 2012
Jun 7 and Jun 13, 2012 Jun 20, 2012 Jun 22, 2012
Jun 14 and Jun 20, 2012 Jun 27, 2012 Jun 29, 2012
Jun 21 and Jun 27, 2012 Jul 4, 2012 Jul 6, 2012
Jun 28 and Jul 4, 2012 Jul 11, 2012 Jul 13, 2012
Jul 5 and Jul 11, 2012 Jul 18, 2012 Jul 20, 2012
Jul 12 and Jul 18, 2012 Jul 25, 2012 Jul 27, 2012
Jul 19 and Jul 25, 2012 Aug 1, 2012 Aug 3, 2012
Jul 26 and Aug 1, 2012 Aug 8, 2012 Aug 10, 2012
Aug 2 and Aug 8, 2012 Aug 15, 2012 Aug 17, 2012
Aug 9 and Aug 15, 2012 Aug 22, 2012 Aug 24, 2012
Aug 16 and Aug 22, 2012 Aug 29, 2012 Aug 31, 2012
Aug 23 and Aug 29, 2012 Sep 5, 2012 Sep 7, 2012
Aug 30 and Sep 5, 2012 Sep 12, 2012 Sep 14, 2012
Sep 6 and Sep 12, 2012 Sep 19, 2012 Sep 21, 2012
Sep 13 and Sep 19, 2012 Sep 26, 2012 Sep 28, 2012
Sep 20 and Sep 26, 2012 Oct 3, 2012 Oct 5, 2012
Sep 27 and Oct 3, 2012 Oct 10, 2012 Oct 12, 2012
Oct 4 and Oct 10, 2012 Oct 17, 2012 Oct 19, 2012
Oct 11 and Oct 17, 2012 Oct 24, 2012 Oct 26, 2012
Oct 18 and Oct 24, 2012 Oct 31, 2012 Nov 2, 2012
Oct 25 and Oct 31, 2012 Nov 7, 2012 Nov 9, 2012
Nov 1 and Nov 7, 2012 Nov 14, 2012 Nov 16, 2012
Nov 8 and Nov 14, 2012 Nov 21, 2012 Nov 23, 2012
Nov 15 and Nov 21, 2012 Nov 28, 2012 Nov 30, 2012
Nov 22 and Nov 28, 2012 Dec 5, 2012 Dec 7, 2012
Nov 29 and Dec 5, 2012 Dec 12, 2012 Dec 14, 2012
Dec 6 and Dec 12, 2012 Dec 19, 2012 Dec 21, 2012
Dec 13 and Dec 19, 2012 Dec 27, 2012 Dec 31, 2012
Dec 20 and Dec 26, 2012 Jan 3, 2013 Jan 7, 2013

* The IRS does not guarantee a specific date that a refund will be deposited into a taxpayer’s financial institution account or when it will be mailed.


2012 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart

You can check the status of your refund 72 hours after IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return. For the fastest information call 1-800-829-1954 or 1-800-829-4477.

Based on the date your return was accepted by the IRS, the earliest your refund will be direct deposited or mailed is shown on the chart above. This is a projected date based on normal processing. On the Wednesday prior to the projected date, you can go to www.irs.gov and click on Where’s my refund? to get any changes to the projected date.

Late Tax Breaks To Delay Some Tax Filing

Tax Season Starts on Time for Most Taxpayers; Those Affected by Late Tax Breaks Can File in Mid to Late February

WASHINGTON — Following last week’s tax law changes, the Internal Revenue Service announced today the upcoming tax season will start on time for most people, but taxpayers affected by three recently reinstated deductions need to wait until mid- to late February to file their individual tax returns. In addition, taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A will need to wait until mid- to late February to file as well.

The start of the 2011 filing season will begin in January for the majority of taxpayers. However, last week’s changes in the law mean that the IRS will need to reprogram its processing systems for three provisions that were extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 that became law on Dec. 17, 2010.


Late Tax Breaks To Delay Some Tax Filing

The start of the 2011 filing season will begin in January for the majority of taxpayers.

People claiming any of these three items — involving the state and local sales tax deduction, higher education tuition and fees deduction and educator expenses deduction as well as those taxpayers who itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A — will need to wait to file their tax returns until tax processing systems are ready, which the IRS estimates will be in mid- to late February.

“The majority of taxpayers will be able to fill out their tax returns and file them as they normally do,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of recent tax law changes on other taxpayers. The IRS will work through the holidays and into the New Year to get our systems reprogrammed and ensure taxpayers have a smooth tax season.”

The IRS will announce a specific date in the near future when it can start processing tax returns impacted by the late tax law changes. In the interim, people in the affected categories can start working on their tax returns, but they should not submit their returns until IRS systems are ready to process the new tax law changes.

The IRS urged taxpayers to use e-file instead of paper tax forms to minimize confusion over the recent tax changes and ensure accurate tax returns.

Taxpayers will need to wait to file if they are within any of the following three categories:

  • Taxpayers claiming itemized deductions on Schedule A. Itemized deductions include mortgage interest, charitable deductions, medical and dental expenses as well as state and local taxes. In addition, itemized deductions include the state and local general sales tax deduction extended in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 enacted Dec. 17, which primarily benefits people living in areas without state and local income taxes and is claimed on Schedule A, Line 5. Because of late Congressional action to enact tax law changes, anyone who itemizes and files a Schedule A will need to wait to file until mid- to late February.
  • Taxpayers claiming the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. This deduction for parents and students — covering up to $4,000 of tuition and fees paid to a post-secondary institution — is claimed on Form 8917. However, the IRS emphasized that there will be no delays for millions of parents and students who claim other education credits, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • Taxpayers claiming the Educator Expense Deduction. This deduction is for kindergarten through grade 12 educators with out-of-pocket classroom expenses of up to $250. The educator expense deduction is claimed on Form 1040, Line 23, and Form 1040A, Line 16.


For those falling into any of these three categories, the delay affects both paper filers and electronic filers.

The IRS emphasized that e-file is the fastest, best way for those affected by the delay to get their refunds. Those who use tax-preparation software can easily download updates from their software provider. The IRS Free File program also will be updated.

As part of this effort, the IRS will be working closely with the tax software industry and tax professional community to minimize delays and ensure a smooth tax season.

Updated information will be posted on IRS.gov. This will include an updated copy of Schedule A as well as updated state and local sales tax tables. Several other forms used by relatively few taxpayers are also affected by the recent changes, and more details are available on IRS.gov.

In addition, the IRS reminds employers about the new withholding tables released Friday for 2011. Employers should implement the 2011 withholding tables as soon as possible, but not later than Jan. 31, 2011.

The IRS also reminds employers that Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, containing the extensive wage bracket tables that some employers use, will be available on IRS.gov before year’s end.

Three Reasons to Prepare and File Your Taxes Using e-File

Last year, 2 out of 3 tax returns were filed electronically. Was yours? If not, here are three important reasons to e-file your return.

  1. It’s fast Your tax return will get processed more quickly if you use e-file.  If there is an error on your return, it will typically be identified and can be corrected right away.  If you file electronically and choose to have your tax refund deposited directly into your bank account, you will have your money in as few as 10 days.
  2. It’s safe When you file a tax return electronically, the IRS is fully committed to protecting your information on our tax processing systems.
  3. It’s time Don’t miss out on the benefits of e-file, 2 out of 3 taxpayers, 95 million, already get the benefits of e-file.


Three Reasons to Prepare and File Your Taxes Using e-File

E-file software reduces the chance of making errors when you prepare your return.  However, some people still print the computer generated return and mail it to the IRS instead of hitting the “Send” button.  By mailing the return, taxpayers miss out on some important benefits of IRS e-file.

  • With e-file, you get the peace of mind that comes with the electronic receipt you’ll receive notifying you that the IRS received your tax return.
  • Virtually everyone can prepare a return and file it for free.  For the second year, the IRS and its partners are offering the option of Free File Fillable Forms. Another option is Traditional Free File.  About 98 million taxpayers – 70% of all taxpayers – are eligible for the IRS Traditional Free File.  Traditional Free File is a service offered by software companies and the IRS in partnership to provide free tax preparation software and free filing.
  • E-file is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the convenience of your own home.
  • If you owe money to the IRS, e-file also allows you to file your tax return early and delay payment up until the due date.
  • In 37 states and the District of Columbia, you can simultaneously e-file your federal and state tax returns.

Read more about e-file.

Top Eight Reasons to Try e-file

If you have never filed your tax return electronically, you should definitely consider trying it in 2010. Join the millions of taxpayers who are saving time and money to file their tax returns without the many headaches often associated with filing a paper return.


Top Eight Reasons to Try e-file

Here are the top eight reasons that almost 90 million people filed their tax returns electronically in 2008:

1. It’s easy. You can usually file a state tax return at the same time you electronically file your federal tax return.

2. It’s accurate. No more human errors because e-file checks for math errors and necessary information. This not only increases the accuracy of your return, but it also reduces the need for correspondence with the IRS to clarify errors or omissions.

3. No more second-guessing yourself. When you file electronically, the computer software or online program guides you through the process step-by-step.

4. You’ll get your refund faster. When you use e-file, you can get your refund in as little as ten days.

5. There are more payment options. With e-file, you can file your return early, but wait to pay any balance due by the April deadline. You can also pay electronically using a credit card, electronic funds withdrawal or in some cases the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System.

6. It’s fast. You don’t have to make a trip to the post office. In fact, you won’t even need to walk to the mailbox to send your return. Just click Send.

7. You’ll know the IRS received your return. The IRS will send you an electronic notification acknowledging receipt of your return.

8. You’ll have peace of mind. After clicking send and receiving your notification from the IRS that they received your return…kick back and relax – you’re done!

Choose one of the programs on the right or below to get started today.

If you are reading this prior to the e-file start date of January 15th you can still get started today, if you have your income and deduction amounts. The tax program you use will automatically e-file your completed return on Jan. 15 for you.

college tax benefits

Two Out of Three Individuals Now Using e-File

Individuals e-filed a record 95 million federal income tax returns during 2009, up almost 6 percent from last year’s total of nearly 90 million. About two out of three taxpayers used e-file this year; out of the 141 million returns filed so far this year, over 67 percent were e-filed, compared to 59 percent last year.


Two Out of Three Individuals Now Using e-File

Each year, more taxpayers chose to e-file their tax returns. While the total number of tax returns has increased 10 percent during the past decade, the number filed electronically has increased by 168 percent. Taxpayers who e-file from a home computer continue to be an increasingly significant segment of those who e-file.


Year Filed Total Returns e-Filed Returns Percent e-filed
2000 128,430,000 35,412,000 27.57%
2001 130,965,000 40,244,000 30.73%
2002 131,728,000 46,892,000 35.60%
2003 131,557,000 52,944,000 40.24%
2004 132,200,000 61,507,000 46.53%
2005 133,933,000 68,476,000 51.13%
2006 136,071,000 73,255,000 53.84%
2007 140,188,000 79,979,000 57.05%
2008 153,650,000 89,853,000 58.48%
2009 141,376,000 94,980,000 67.18%

Home Computer e-Filers


This year, for the first time, more than a third of e-filers are filing their returns themselves from a home computer. More than 32 million returns were e-filed from home computers, up almost 20 percent from last year’s record of 27 million. People filing from their home computers account for about 34 percent of all e-filed returns from individuals.


Direct Deposit Refunds

Almost 73 million refunds were electronically deposited into taxpayer’s accounts, saving the government mailing costs and saving taxpayers a trip to the bank. More importantly, these taxpayers received their refunds at least a week sooner than those receiving a paper check.

These direct deposit refunds accounted for 66 percent of all refunds, up from 62 percent of refunds last year. Overall, the IRS issued 110 million refunds, averaging $2,753 per refund; direct deposit refunds averaged $2,997 per refund.


IRS Free File

More than 3 million taxpayers filed their tax returns for free through the IRS Free File program.

E-file Hits Record 90 Million With 30 Million Filed From Home

The Internal Revenue Service announced today a record 90 million tax returns were filed electronically this year, led by a big increase in people using home computers.

e-file taxes from home

For the first time, more than 30 million individual income tax returns were filed from home computers. By April 24, the IRS had accepted 31.2 million returns filed from home computers, up 19.3 percent from the same time last year.


E-file Hits Record 90 Million With 30 Million Filed From Home

IRS e-file broke the 90 million mark this year. By April 24, the IRS had accepted 90.6 million income tax returns through e-file, up almost 6 percent compared to the same time last year.

“E-file is a great option for taxpayers, and this year’s record is another sign people enjoy the speed and accuracy of e-file,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We remind taxpayers with extensions who haven’t filed yet that they can still take advantage of e-file.”

A higher percentage of the population is choosing to e-file this year. As of April 24, almost 70 percent of individuals chose to e-file their tax returns, compared to 61 percent for the same time last year. The IRS will continue to accept income tax returns through IRS e-file until Oct. 15.

IRS e-file is popular because it’s fast, safe and accurate. An electronically prepared and filed return has an error rate of less than 1 percent, compared to an error rate of about 20 percent for a paper prepared return.

People can receive a refund in as little as 10 days if they use electronic filing and direct deposit. Also, people who owe can also pay electronically by debiting their financial account or using a credit card.


Cumulative through the weeks ending 4/25/08 and 4/24/09

Individual Income Tax Returns



% Change

Total Receipts




Total Processed




E-filing Receipts:




Tax Professionals








Web Usage:
Visits to IRS.gov




Total Refunds:










Average refund




Direct Deposit Refunds:










Average refund




Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

With the tax filing deadline close at hand, here are the top 10 tips for last minute taxpayers still working on their tax return. Sometimes the most frustrating part of preparing your tax return is dealing with unsuccessful attempts to e-file. E-filing your return instead of mailing definitely has some benefits, especially receiving your refund much faster. The Internal Revenue Service can reject your e-filing for a wide range of reasons, which means you’ll need to figure out what went wrong and try again. However, if you implement some basic tips, you may be able to avoid unnecessary e-file rejections.


Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

efile Tax Tips

  1. E-file your return. Consider filing electronically instead of using paper tax forms. Choosing to e-file is the best way to ensure your return is accurate and complete.
  2. Review tax ID numbers. Remember to carefully check all identification numbers on your return. Incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
  3. Double-check your figures. Whether you are filing electronically or by paper, review all the amounts you transferred over from your W-2 or 1099.
  4. Review your math. Taxpayers filing paper returns should also double-check that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table.
  5. Sign and date your return. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.
  6. Choose Direct Deposit. To get your refund quicker, select Direct Deposit and the IRS will deposit your refund directly into your bank account.
  7. How to make a payment. People sending a payment should make the check out to “United States Treasury” and should enclose it with, but not attach it to the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Write your name, address, SSN, telephone number, tax year and form number on the check or money order.
  8. File an extension. Taxpayers who will not be able to file a return by the April deadline should request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
  9. Visit the IRS Web site. IRS.gov has forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects, which is available around the clock on the IRS.gov.
  10. Review your return….one more time. Before you seal the envelope or hit send, go over all the information on return again. Errors may delay the processing of your return, so it’s best for you to make sure everything on your return is correct.


Common eFile Errors Lead to Rejections

One of the easier e-file rejections to fix is the names reported on your tax forms. When you e-file, the IRS will check to ensure that your name matches the Social Security number (SSN) reported on the form. Another frequent mismatch occurs when there is a name change due to marriage or divorce. If you change your last name, you need to notify the Social Security Administration to get your SSN reassigned to your new name, or risk your e-file being rejected. When you take exemptions for your dependents, your tax form requires their full names, SSNs and the relationship you have with each of them. The IRS e-file system will verify that each dependent’s name matches the corresponding SSN by comparing the information to IRS master files. If it doesn’t match, the IRS will reject your e-filing.

Further, certain tax return filing statuses require additional information on the return other than just marking the appropriate status box. If filing as head of household, for example, one of the eligibility requirements is that you claim at least one dependent on your return. Thus, if you forget to list your dependent or report your dependent’s name or SSN incorrectly, the e-filing system will catch this error and reject your e-file submission


Additional IRS Links on eFile:

Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request
Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher
Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Welcome to Tax Season 2009

It is now official, the IRS is now excepting tax returns for 2008!

80 million people used e-file in 2007 (almost 58 percent of all tax returns).
e-file or electronic tax filing has many benefits like:

  • Faster Refunds
  • Greater Accuracy
  • Secure and confidential submission
  • No paper return to mail
  • File now, pay later
  • Quick confirmation

“These are tough times, and e-file is the best way for people to get cash in their pocket quickly,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “Filing electronically with direct deposit can get refunds to taxpayers in as few as 10 days.”

IRS e-file meets the needs of nearly all taxpayers, no matter how complicated or simple their returns are. E-file helps taxpayers take advantage of the tax credits available to them to maximize their refunds during these tough economic times.

E-filed tax return information is protected through encryption. Also, taxpayers receive an acknowledgement usually within 48 hours that the IRS has accepted their return.

Click either the Basic return link at the top of the page to start your 1040EZ form or Click on the Start a Regular Tax Return link if you won’t qualify for a 1040 EZ.

Not sure? Then start with the Basic 1040EZ form, if you need to upgrade to the Regular form we will let you know. Please keep in mind if you start with the Regular form you can not downgrade to the Basic.

In general if you are Single or Married with NO children you should start with the Basic 1040EZ.

IRS Seeks to Return $266 Million in Undeliverable Refunds And Economic Stimulus Payments to Taxpayers

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service is looking for taxpayers who are missing more than 279,000 economic stimulus checks totaling about $163 million and more than 104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.

“People across the country are missing tax refunds and stimulus checks. We want to get this money into the hands of taxpayers where it belongs,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We are committed to making the process as easy as possible for taxpayers to update their addresses with the IRS and get their checks.”

IRS Seeks to Return $266 Million in Undeliverable Refunds And Economic Stimulus Payments to Taxpayers

All a taxpayer has to do is update his or her address once. The IRS will then send out all checks due.

Stimulus Checks

It is crucial that taxpayers who may be due a stimulus check update their addresses with the IRS by Nov. 28, 2008. By law, economic stimulus checks must be sent out by Dec. 31 of this year. The undeliverable economic stimulus checks average $583.

The “Where’s My Stimulus Payment?” tool on this Web site is the quickest and easiest way for a taxpayer to check the status of a stimulus check and receive instructions on how to update his or her address. Taxpayers without internet access should call 1-866-234-2942.

Regular Refunds

The regular refund checks that were returned to the IRS average $988. These checks are resent as soon as taxpayers update their address.

Taxpayers can update their addresses with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on this Web site. It enables taxpayers to check the status of their refunds. A taxpayer must submit his or her social security number, filing status and amount of refund shown on their 2007 return. The tool will provide the status of their refund and in some cases provide instructions on how to resolve delivery problems.

Taxpayers checking on a refund over the phone will be given instructions on how to update their addresses. Taxpayers can access a telephone version of “Where’s My Refund?” by calling 1-800-829-1954.


Taxpayers not sure of which type of check they may be due should check on a potential economic stimulus check first because of the looming deadline. See instructions above.

For Most People

The vast majority of checks mailed out by the IRS reach their rightful owner every year. Only a very small percent are returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable.

Through September 2008, the government distributed 116 million economic stimulus payments with only about 279,000 checks being undeliverable. Meanwhile, the IRS has distributed more than 105 million regular refunds this year with only about 104,000 being undeliverable. In both cases, well under one percent of refunds or stimulus checks were undeliverable.

Avoiding Future Problems

The IRS encourages taxpayers to choose direct deposit when they file their return because it puts an end to lost, stolen or undeliverable checks. Taxpayers can receive refunds directly into personal checking or savings accounts. Direct deposit is available for filers of both paper and electronic returns.

The IRS also encourages taxpayers to file their tax returns electronically because e-file eliminates the risk of lost paper returns. E-file also reduces errors and speeds up refunds.