When to Expect IRS Income Tax Refunds in 2023 – Estimates

tax refund

When to Expect IRS Income Tax Refunds in 2023 – Estimates

Edited: 26th December 2022

This chart depicts an estimated timeline for when a taxpayer will likely receive their refund, based on current information and projections from previous years—and depending on when the individual files their return.

Although it’s way too early to be considering it, here is our annual chart for the top query we receive each year: “When will I get my tax refund?” Although we can never know the precise answer, we can always make educated assumptions based on a few essential elements. But it’s also a good idea to start thinking about taxes now, well before the end of the year, because there’s still an opportunity to take advantage of some strategies that can decrease your tax bill or increase your refund.

If you’ve had significant income changes this year, such as having a child, getting married/divorced, retiring, buying a house, changing investments, or making any other major life changes, you should definitely seek the advice of a tax professional, such as a CPA or EA, before the end of the year. The sooner you start, the better.

(If you just want to scroll down, the estimated refund date chart is below.)

Will the tax filing season in 2023 be normal? It will most likely be closer to normal than it has been since 2019, when COVID caused widespread office closures, including at the IRS, delaying the 2020 tax filing deadline by several months. The pandemic also brought about a number of tax credits and deductions for businesses as well as stimulus payments for the majority of Americans. If a taxpayer did not receive payment directly, these were sometimes given as a credit on their taxes.

Why is the 2023 tax deadline set for April 18 rather than April 15? 

This is due to the fact that April 15—the standard deadline—is a Saturday. The IRS changes the due date to the following business day if the deadline falls on a weekend. The IRS’s headquarters are in Washington, D.C., and Monday, April 17, 2023, is Emancipation Day, a recognized holiday in that city.

Patriot’s Day, observed on April 17, is also a state holiday in Maine and Massachusetts. As a result of all of this, the due date for submitting federal income tax returns (typically Form 1040) is set to Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Most states also typically adhere to this schedule when submitting state income tax returns.

Depending on when a taxpayer files, they can usually expect to receive their tax refund (via check or direct deposit) within 2-3 weeks.

When Will the IRS Begin Accepting Tax Returns and Issuing Refunds for 2023?

Typically, the IRS begins accepting tax returns in the last week of January. However, the beginning of tax season might be delayed by a week or two if significant new tax legislation is passed at the end of the year. As a result, early tax filers who are due a refund can often expect to receive it as early as mid or late February. However, the IRS typically delays refunds for taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit by about a month while it verifies their eligibility for these credits.

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the previous two tax filing seasons, and the IRS extended both deadlines; however, the IRS is not anticipated to extend the tax filing deadline for 2023.

Based on the information we have now and projections based on previous years, the chart below shows an estimated timeline for when a taxpayer is likely to receive their refund, depending on when they file their return. If your IRS income tax refund is delayed after you’ve filed, contact your tax professional or use the IRS website’s “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

Most Americans who expect a tax refund receive it via direct deposit in as little as two weeks, though this can take longer during the peak of the filing season, which begins in late March. So, as soon as you have your tax documents, you should e-file your tax return (like your W2, 1099s, mortgage and student loan interest, and other items).

Several factors can influence when a taxpayer receives his or her tax return, including

  • How soon they file
  • If the taxpayer is eligible for certain credits (especially EITC and CTC)
  • Whether the return is e-filed or mailed
  • Whether the taxpayer owes the federal government any money.

Keep in mind: If an income tax return includes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC), the IRS will delay processing by 2-3 weeks to allow themselves to verify that taxpayers qualify for the credits.

So, here’s the data you’ve been looking for. We will update this table if the IRS changes the tax season this year. Remember, this is only an estimate of when you can expect your refund. It is not exact because every taxpayer has a different return and situation. The first column indicates when the IRS “accepts” your return, which can take up to 2-3 days after you submit it electronically. Mailing in a return can cause a few weeks of extra delay at the start of the process because the IRS will need to manually enter it into their computer systems.

IRS Income Tax Return Estimate for 2023

The IRS accepts e-filed returns bySending via direct deposit (or a paper check mailed one week later):
IRS may start accepting income tax returns as early as Jan. 23, 2023.
Jan. 23, 2023*Feb. 3 (Feb. 10)**
Jan. 30, 2023*Feb. 10 (Feb. 17)**
Feb. 6, 2023Feb. 17 (Feb. 24)**
Feb. 13, 2023Feb. 24 (Mar. 3)**
Feb. 20, 2023Mar. 3 (Mar. 10)**
Feb. 27, 2023Mar. 10 (Mar 17)
Mar. 6, 2023Mar. 17 (Mar. 24)
Mar. 13, 2023Mar. 24 (Apr. 1)
Mar. 20, 2023Mar. 31 (April 7)
Mar. 27, 2023Apr. 7 (Apr. 14)***
Apr. 3, 2023Apr. 14 (Apr. 21)***
Apr. 10, 2023Apr. 21 (Apr. 28)***
Apr. 17, 2023Apr. 28 (May 5)
Apr. 24, 2023May 5 (May 12)
May 1, 2023May 12 (May 19)
May 8, 2023May 19 (May 26)
May 15, 2023May 26 (June 3)
May 22, 2023June 3 (June 10)

*Tax season could be delayed by a week or so by the IRS.

**Refunds for returns with EITC or CTC may be postponed until March in order to confirm credits.

***Wait times might be a little bit longer if you file during the peak period.

Crucial: The IRS will inform you of the actual date that they “accepted” your return if you file electronically (using an online tax program or preparer). This is usually 1-3 days after you hit the “file” or “submit” button, and you must use this date on the left side of the above chart.

Paper tax returns must first be manually entered into the IRS system before they can be processed, so taxpayers who mail a paper version of their return should plan on a front-end delay of at least 3 to 4 weeks.

According to the IRS, payments are typically processed and issued within 10 to 21 days for returns with refunds. But for those who use paper filing, it might take much longer. Electronic filing is strongly encouraged by the IRS and tax professionals.

What Happens If You Can’t File Your Taxes By April 15?

Taxpayers who do not have all of the necessary paperwork to file their taxes can easily file an extension form, “Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” This will give the taxpayer until October 17, 2023, to file their tax return. This extension is given automatically, as the title of the clause indicates, and no justification is required.

Even if they have asked for a filing extension, a person is still required to pay any taxes they will owe by April 18, 2023. This is something that a professional can help you with. Those entitled to a refund must generally only file an extension request by April 18, 2023. This task can be completed by any tax professional or most do-it-yourself tax software.

Hire a Professional to Be Safe

The estimated date of a tax refund can be requested by taxpayers who work with a tax expert, such as a CPA or an EA. Your specific facts may hold various opportunities and possible risks that only trained, experienced, and highly qualified tax specialists can spot. We encourage you to find such help, rather than trying to figure it all out on your own. Consider giving this marketplace a try by posting your project and signing up here.


If you are a licensed tax professional interested in helping others either part or full-time, or ad hoc, come on in! Happy to have you. Our marketplace has the full suite of tools to communicate with clients including compliance calendars, task and message management, and billing. You can also quickly connect to knowledgeable colleagues who can complement your services with the ones you do not provide. Register here.

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