If you are expecting a tax refund, the most common advice is that you should file your tax return as soon as possible. There is no reason to let the government keep your money any longer.
Early Filers - You Will See A Delay In Your Refund However, for some filers this year, your early tax returnwill be delayed because of new laws designed to stop identity theft.
In addition, Congress passed another law last year that requires the IRS to HOLD all tax refunds that include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15, 2020, regardless of how early the tax return was filed.
So, if you file on the first day, you might still be waiting until the last week of February for your refund.
The IRS tweeted this year that people held up by this delay should expect WMR to update on February 22 with direct deposit dates, assuming there are no other problems with the tax returns. We expect the actual direct deposits to arrive the last week of February, similar to previous years.
The goal of this is to cut down on fraud and give the IRS time to ensure no duplicate returns are filed. The trouble is, the IRS will hold your entire tax refund, not just the EITC or ACTC part.
Over the last few years, identity theft related to taxes has exploded. In order to reduce possible losses from identity theft, Congress passed a law that forces the IRS to delay issuing refunds for people claiming certain deductions (the ones most likely used by identity thieves).
The sad part is, though, that many honest people will see their tax returns delayed by several weeks. Now, that is not detrimental, but it is a longer wait than in past years.
2020 IRS Refund Schedule Chart
Here is a chart of when you can expect your tax refund for when the return was accepted (based on e-Filing). This is an estimate based on past years trends, but based on early information, does seem accurate for about 90% of taxpayers. For more details on the status of your refund, you can go to the IRS’ Where’s My Refund page.
In general, the IRS says that returns with refunds are processed and payments issued within 21 days. For paper filers, this can take much longer, however. The IRS and tax professionals strongly encourage electronic filing.
Wrap It Up!
Be Safe - Hire a Professional
Taxpayers who use a professional, such as a CPA, can ask that professional for the estimated date of their tax refund, and they can be more confident that their taxes have been properly (and legally) filed.