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IRS Tax Refund Schedule 2021

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What is a tax refund?

A tax refund is a repayment from the government because you have paid more income tax than necessary. These repayments are delivered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Will I get a tax refund?

Many Americans get tax refunds every year, but it completely depends on whether IRS calculations show you’ve overpaid your income tax. If you’ve underpaid, then you may need to make a payment to the IRS.

When do you get tax returns in 2021?[1]

Beginning January 1, 2021, you can file your 2020 taxes electronically for free at one of the brand name tax preparation sites that are part of the IRS Free File program. Or If you’re comfortable completing your own return, forms can be found online. Your tax return should be submitted by April 15.

When will taxes be deposited in 2021?

While the 2020 tax season was adjusted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the estimated 2021 tax refund dates are set to return to normal and will not be delayed.[2]

When and how your tax returns were filed will determine when your 2021 tax refund becomes available. For example, e-filed returns allow the IRS to process your refund faster than mailed returns. Also, the earlier you file, the quicker your return could be processed.[3]

On average, the IRS will provide any tax refund you’re eligible for 21 days after they receive your electronic tax return.

Below are the estimated dates that you may receive your tax refund from the IRS in 2021 – these are subject to change.

Date Accepted Direct Deposit Sent Paper Check Mailed
Jan 25 - Jan 31, 2021 Feb 12, 2021 Feb 26, 2021
Feb 1 - Feb 7, 2021 Feb 19, 2021 Mar 5, 2021
Feb 8 - Feb 14, 2021 Feb 26, 2021 Mar 12, 2021
Feb 15 - Feb 21, 2021 Mar 5, 2021 Mar 19, 2021
Feb 22 - Feb 28, 2021 Mar 12, 2021 Mar 26, 2021
Mar 1 - Mar 7, 2021 Mar 19, 2021 Apr 2, 2021
Mar 8 - Mar 14, 2021 Mar 26, 2021 Apr 9, 2021
Mar 15 - Mar 21, 2021 Apr 2, 2021 Apr 16, 2021
Mar 22 - Mar 28, 2021 Apr 9, 2021 Apr 23, 2021
Mar 29 - Apr 4, 2021 Apr 16, 2021 Apr 30, 2021
Apr 5 - Apr 11, 2021 Apr 23, 2021 May 7, 2021
Apr 12 - Apr 18, 2021 Apr 30, 2021 May 14, 2021
Apr 19 - Apr 25, 2021 May 7, 2021 May 21, 2021
Apr 26 - May 2, 2021 May 14, 2021 May 28, 2021

How long does it take to get my tax refund?

The time it takes to receive your tax refund varies. Getting your refund check through the mail is the slowest method of receiving a tax refund as it can take around three weeks to arrive after its been issued.

There are three main ways that you can get your refund:

  • Direct deposit
  • Check in the mail
  • Savings bond

The option you choose will determine how long your money takes to get to you. Find more information on cashing your tax refund check.

How to check your tax refund

You can monitor the progress of your tax refund using the IRS Where’s My Refund tool. Be aware, if you’ve filed an electronic return you should only contact the IRS if you’ve been waiting more than 21 days for your refund. On the other hand, if you mailed your return you need to wait at least six to eight weeks to contact them.

To use the tool, you’ll need your:

  • Social Security Number
  • Filing status
  • Exact refund amount

Could my tax refund be delayed?

There’s a chance your tax refund could be delayed if you mailed a paper return or some of the information you submitted was incorrect. If the Social Security Number or name on your return doesn’t match the details on IRS records, your refund may take longer to process.

Forgetting to include additional forms or making mistakes in your calculations could also increase the time it takes to receive a refund.

Benefits of getting your tax refund on a prepaid card

Prepaid cards are one of the fastest ways to get your 2021 tax refund. You can purchase a prepaid card from a Kroger Money Services counter, within the Kroger Family of Stores, then fill out the relevant sections of your 1040 return form. As soon as the payment is released by the IRS, your prepaid card will be loaded with your refund amount.

Getting your tax refund onto a prepaid card can have many advantages:

1. Keep your money away from your regular account

Having extra money in your account may not seem like a bad thing, but you can easily end up spending your tax refund. Keeping your refund separate can help you save the money, use it for a special occasion or make an important purchase.

2. Access your refund sooner

Prepaid cards allow you to access your refund quicker than checks, which can take longer to arrive. Your tax refund will be automatically added to your prepaid card balance once available.

3. Prepaid cards are safer than cash

Prepaid cards can be safer than cash. If you’ve received a significant refund, you may not want to carry it around with you or keep it at home.

4. Access benefits and perks

Prepaid cards often have perks or benefits. For example, a Fred Meyer Rewards® Prepaid Visa® offers free groceries and discounts on fuel. A Green Dot 5% Cash Back Visa® Debit Card offers 5% cashback. Browse our range of prepaid reloadable cards.

Benefits of getting a tax refund

Getting a tax refund means you have a lump sum of money that can be deposited directly into your savings account. This means you can make a big jump towards your saving goals and be more prepared for any unexpected payments that may surprise you.

If you’re one of the many Americans that get tax refunds nearly every year, creating this habit can be a great way to create substantial savings with little effort.






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