When Will the IRS Send Your Refund?

May 3, 2024 | IRS - Internal Revenue Service | 0 comments

From Katie Teague CNET April 27 adapted by US Tax Consultants

Tax season is not over yet, but when should you expect your child tax credit refund? Here’s how to find out when you’ll get it.

Tax season might be over, but if you’re reading this, you probably haven’t received your child tax credit refund. And if it’s been more than 21 days since you filed with the IRS, it may be time to check the status of your tax return online.

Note that your refund could be delayed because you claimed the child tax credit or the earned income tax credit, which takes a bit longer to process. By law, the IRS couldn’t begin sending tax refunds to those claiming the credits until the middle of February at the earliest.

With lots of news around the child tax credit this year — including 16 states that also have a credit, and Congress working on an expanded credit — we’ll explain when you can expect your refund if you claimed the credit. For more, here’s our essential cheat sheet for filing this year. Still need to file your taxes? Here’s how to file for free.

What is the child tax credit and additional child tax credit?

The child tax credit is a tax break families can receive if they have qualifying children. The amount a family can receive is up to $2,000 per child, but it’s only partially refundable. That means if not all is applied to any taxes you owe to lower your tax bill, you may not receive the additional money left over.

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The refundable portion is called the additional child tax credit, and this year the refundable amount is $1,600.

When to expect your child tax credit refund

For early filers, the IRS told tax software providers that most child tax credit and earned income tax credit refunds would be available in bank accounts or on debit cards by Feb. 27 for taxpayers who have filed and chose direct deposit — and there are no other issues with their return.

Why Feb. 27? According to the IRS, the agency cannot issue refunds involving the additional child tax credit (and the earned income tax credit) before mid-February. The agency, by law, is required to use the extra time to prevent fraudulent refunds.

If you haven’t received your money yet and you’re claiming the credit, you should be able to see your projected deposit date by checking the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool.

2024 Tax Refund Still Hasn’t Arrived? Here’s How to Track It

If it’s been weeks since you filed your tax return, you may want to start tracking its status to see when your refund will arrive.

If you filed your tax return weeks ago and still haven’t received your refund money, it could be for a number of reasons. For instance, you may have opted to receive a paper check instead of an electronic refund directly to your bank account. But if it’s been more than 21 days since you filed your tax return and you still haven’t received your money, it’s time to use the IRS refund tracker tool to check the status of your money.

For most tax filers, April 15 was the final day to submit tax returns. That is unless you file a tax extension or you reside in one of these states. Although the IRS has been sending tax refunds for months, the process of receiving money back isn’t instantaneous.

Track the status of your 2024 tax refund with this tool.

The quickest way to monitor your tax refund is with the IRS’ Where’s My Refund? tracker page, which also lets you know if your return has been rejected because of errors.

To use the IRS’ tracker tools, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status (single, married or head of household) and your refund amount in whole dollars.

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Go to the Get Refund Status page on the IRS website, enter your personal data, and then press Submit.

If you’re not taken to a page that shows your refund status, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.

Make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before you start tracking an online return, or up to four weeks if you mailed your return.

Yes, you can track a refund from previous years.

The Where’s My Refund tool lists the federal refund information the IRS has from the past two years. If you’re looking for return details from previous years, you’ll need to check your IRS online account.

From there, you’ll be able to see the total amount you owe, your payment history, key information about your most recent tax return, notices you’ve received from the IRS and your address on file.

The IRS has a mobile app to track your refund, too.

The IRS2Go app is available to use on both iOS and Android.

The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go that can monitor your tax refund status. It’s available for both iOS and Android and in English and Spanish.

You’re able to see if your return has been received and approved in the app, and if a refund has been sent.

To log in, you’ll need your Social Security number, filing status and the expected amount of your refund. The IRS updates the app overnight, so if you don’t see a status change, check back the following day.

What these tax return status messages mean

The IRS tools will show you one of three messages explaining your tax return status.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund if you’re owed one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check sent to your mailbox. (Here’s how to change the address on file if you’ve moved.)

Why you might see ‘Tax Topic 152’ or an IRS error message.

Although the Where’s My Refund tool typically shows a status of Received, Approved or Sent, there are a variety of other messages some users may see.

One of the most common is Tax Topic 152, indicating you’re likely getting a refund, but it hasn’t been approved or sent yet. The notice simply links out to an informational topic page on the IRS FAQ website explaining the types and timing of tax refunds.

The delay could be an automated message for taxpayers claiming the child tax credit or earned income tax credit sent because of additional fraud protection steps.

Tax Topic 151 means your tax return is now under review by the IRS. The agency either needs to verify certain credits or dependents, or it has determined that your tax refund will be reduced to pay money that it believes you owe. You’ll need to wait about four weeks to receive a notice from the IRS explaining what you need to do to resolve the status.

There are other IRS refund codes that a small percentage of tax filers receive, indicating freezes, math errors on tax returns or undelivered checks. The College Investor offers a list of IRS refund reference codes and errors and their meaning.

Problems? What to know about calling the IRS about your refund

Getting live phone assistance is notoriously difficult at the IRS. In 2022, only about 13% of taxpayers reached a human being, according to Erin M. Collins, the national taxpayer advocate.

Congress has since increased the agency’s funding, and the IRS said it has hired thousands of new telephone representatives. Still, the agency says you should call only if it’s been at least 21 days since you filed your taxes online or if the Where’s My Refund tool tells you to.

You can call 800-829-1040 or 800-829-8374 during regular business hours.

Otherwise, the IRS is directing taxpayers to the Let Us Help You page on its website and to in-person help at Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country. You can contact your local IRS office or call 844-545-5640 to make an appointment. If you’re eligible for assistance, you can also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 877-777-4778.

What ‘IRS TREAS 310’ means as a bank statement transaction

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see IRS TREAS 310 listed in the transaction. The 310 code simply identifies the transaction as a refund from a filed tax return in the form of electronic payment. You may also see TAX REF in the description field for a refund.

If you see a 449 instead of 310, it means your refund may have been offset for delinquent debt.

Why your refund was mailed instead of issued via direct deposit.

There are a few reasons why your refund may be mailed rather than deposited electronically into your account. Keep in mind:

  • You must provide the correct account and routing number.
  • Funds can only be deposited into an account with your name or your spouse’s name (or both for a joint account).
  • The IRS can only do direct deposit for up to three refunds into one account.


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