Once you prepare your taxes and see that you will be receiving a refund, it’s smart to want to get that money as soon as you can. Therefore, a common question during this initial phase of the tax season is “when will I get my refund?” Many people have already filed and they just want to know when the IRS will do their part to process the return and cut a check or make a direct deposit.
Using the 2011 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart
To help you estimate when you might expect to receive your tax refund, the IRS has put together a refund cycle chart showing the dates when refund checks and direct deposits should be sent. The chart is only for those filers that filed their returns electronically (e-file). The refund cycle chart includes information for those e-filers who have chosen either direct deposit or paper check as their method of receiving their refund.
To use the chart, simply locate the date range in the far left column that corresponds to the date range in which you filed your taxes. Note that the return should have been transmitted and accepted by 11:00 am (I’m assuming this is Eastern time zone) on the last day of the date range. Then refer to one of the next two columns to determine when your refund will be sent by the IRS.
The first range on the chart says that if your tax return was “transmitted and accepted (by 11:00 am) between… Jan 14 and Jan 20, 2011” your direct deposit should be sent by Jan 28, 2011. Paper check refunds for this same period would be mailed on Feb 4, 2011. Take note that those dates represent when the refund will be “sent” and “mailed”, and not necessarily received by you.
Taking an example from the current week, your return needs to be transmitted and received by 11:00 am on Feb 17, 2011 in order for your refund to be sent by direct deposit on Feb 25, 2011. Better hurry.
Another thing to notice about the chart is that those filers who have selected direct deposit should expect to get there refunds faster. Typically around 7 days faster. That’s a nice incentive to go ahead and provide the IRS your checking or savings account credentials so they can get you the money quicker.
Try Not to Exclusively Rely on the 2011 IRS e-file Refund Cycle Chart
The IRS disclaimer associated with this chart states that the “IRS does not guarantee a specific date that a refund will be deposited…”. Knowing that, I would not exclusively rely on this chart to determine when you might expect to receive your refund. Check out the IRS “Where’s My Refund” site weekly to track your refund.