Here’s your estimated 2019 tax refund schedule

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Tax Refund check
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Wondering when you might get the refund for your 2018 taxes from the IRS this year? It depends on when you file (along with a few other variables), but read on to know what you you should expect.

Here’s when you can look forward to your tax refund in 2019…

The IRS began accepting returns in late January. The deadline for filing your taxes is April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts).

Historically, the Internal Revenue Service has said it issues most refunds in less than 21 calendar days after you file your return.

Just know this: The way you file and how you request a refund can impact how long it takes for your money to show up.

This year, the IRS strongly recommends that you e-file your taxes, rather than sending in a paper return. Of course, everyone must make their own decision about which method to use when filing.

If you haven’t filed yet, Credit Karma’s free tax return prep software allows you to file for free. This service debuted in 2017 and stands out from the IRS Free File offer because this one makes free prep software available to all regardless of income.

So taking everything into account, we have put together this estimated tax refund schedule for 2019.

If the IRS receives your return by… Anticipated refund date if e-filed with direct deposit Anticipated refund date if e-filed with refund mailed Anticipated refund date if paper return filed with direct deposit Anticipated refund date if paper return filed with refund mailed
January 28 February 11 February 19 February 25 March 4
February 4 February 19 February 25 March 4 March 11
February 11 February 25 March 4 March 11 March 18
February 19 March 4 March 11 March 18 March 25
February 25 March 11 March 18 March 25 April 1
March 4 March 18 March 25 April 1 April 8
March 11 March 25 April 1 April 8 April 15
March 18 April 1 April 8 April 15 April 22
March 25 April 8 April 15 April 22 April 29
April 1 April 15 April 22 April 29 May 6
April 8 April 22 April 29 May 6 May 13
April 15 April 29 May 6 May 13 May 20

If you file and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), you could be in for a longer wait. By law, the earliest those refunds will be deposited into accounts is February 27. This is to help prevent fraud.

Track your refund with the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool

Once you file, you can track the status of your refund at Where’s My Refund?

Where's My Refund tool
Where’s My Refund tool

Be sure to allow 24 hours after you’ve e-filed before you check — or four weeks if you’re mailing a paper return. (The IRS says EITC/ACTC filers must wait until Feb. 23 before they can begin checking.)

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You just need three pieces of info to get started:

  • Social security number
  • Your filing status
  • Your exact refund amount

Finally, if you’re expecting a big refund, money expert Clark Howard says you might want to rethink your tax strategy. Here’s why:

Here are some more articles you might enjoy from Clark.com:

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