Here’s Your Estimated 2020 Tax Refund Schedule

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The coronavirus pandemic has pushed back the deadline to file federal tax returns and pay your tax obligations by three months, to July 15, 2020.

Haven’t yet filed your taxes? Here’s what you need to know about when you can expect your refund.

Here’s When You Can Look Forward to Your 2020 Tax Refund

The Internal Revenue Service began accepting returns on Monday, January 27. At first, the deadline for filing your taxes was Wednesday, April 15.

But that deadline was pushed back in March to Wednesday, July 15. During the three-month extension, taxpayers will enjoy:

  • No interest accruing
  • No penalties being assessed

The extended due date gives people more time to get their tax returns together in light of the severe economic upset the virus is causing.

However, if you definitely will or think you will be owed a refund, money expert Clark Howard doesn’t want you to wait until July to file your taxes:

“If you are owed a refund, don’t wait,” Clark says. “If you prepare your own taxes, go ahead and file your return. Get a refund as quickly as you can.”

In the midst of all the changes, there is one thing that hasn’t changed: The IRS still says it issues most refunds in less than 21 calendar days after you file your return.

So without further ado, here’s our estimated tax refund schedule for 2020. Remember, these dates are only estimates!

2020 Tax Refund Schedule

If the IRS receives your return the week of…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
March 23April 6April 13April 20April 27
March 30April 13April 20April 27May 4
April 6April 20April 27May 4May 11
April 13April 27May 4May 11May 28
April 20May 4May 11May 18May 26
April 27May 11May 18May 25June 1
May 4May 18May 26June 1June 8
May 11May 25June 1June 8June 15
May 18June 1June 8June 15June 22
May 25June 8June 15June 22June 29
June 1June 15June 22June 29July 6
June 8June 22June 29July 6July 13
June 15June 29July 6July 13July 20
June 22 July 6July 13July 20July 27
June 29July 13July 20July 27August 3
July 6July 20July 27August 3August 10
July 13July 27August 3August 10August 17

As you can see, the way you file and how you request your refund can have an impact on how long it takes for your money to show up.

If you want to get your refund as soon as possible this year, the IRS says there’s still one clear best way to file.

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“The IRS encourages everyone to consider filing electronically and choosing direct deposit,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig says. “It’s fast, accurate and the best way to get your refund as quickly as possible.”

If you haven’t filed yet, Credit Karma’s free tax return prep software allows you to file for free online. This service debuted in 2017 and stands out because it makes free prep software available to everyone regardless of income.

3 Ways to Track Your Refund

There are a few different ways to track your refund once you submit your tax return:

  1. IRS2GO App
  2. Get Refund Status
  3. Call the IRS at 800-829-1954

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.

You just need the following info to get started tracking:

  • Social Security number
  • Your filing status
  • Your exact expected refund amount

Why You Actually Don’t Want a Big Refund

Finally, if you’re expecting a big refund, Clark says you might want to rethink your tax strategy going forward.

“Are you excited that you are getting a big tax refund or you just got one?” the consumer champ says. “Don’t be excited about that!”

“Because you know what you’re doing? You’re using it as a method of forced savings, where you pay into the feds extra money all year long — making an interest-free loan to the federal government — so that you will have that money come almost like a bonus check or a small lottery winning. Bad plan!”

More Tax and Related Stories on Clark.com:

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