If you’re looking for this year’s refund schedule, things have changed for 2013. No longer is there a single, all-purpose chart that displays expected refund dates. The IRS has gotten a bit more tech savvy and now offers each taxpayer individual, tailored information regarding where a refund might be.
The New IRS Refund Tracker
It’s called the IRS Refund Tracker, available on the IRS website. Now, instead of looking at a refund chart, you’re asking the IRS for info that’s unique to your and your federal income tax return. To do this, you’ll be asked to enter some personal information so the software can access the information in the database that corresponds to your refund and only yours.
Since you’re going to have to enter your name, social security number and a figure from your tax return, you want to make sure you’re really on the IRS website. The address should contain irs.gov. Make sure you’re not on any other website. There are imposter websites out there, designed to lure you into typing in your personal information so they can steal it. This can lead to identity theft, or simply theft of your IRS refund!
What About the Old Refund Schedule?
Well the IRS gives taxpayers individual information now, but if you want a general idea of how long it takes to get your IRS refund, here it is. The old refund chart gave general guidelines indicating that a refund would be sent approximately a week later. But we all know that last year the actual turnaround time was much longer. This is because the IRS is much more aware of identity theft now. When certain triggers are set off on a return, it gets flagged for further scrutiny. This, of course, takes time. For tax year 2011, IRS refunds took more like three weeks rather than seven days.
There is a general statement now, on the IRS website, letting taxpayers know that the expected turnaround time is 21 days. If you were to make an IRS refund cycle, the total turnaround time from the date your return was accepted to the date your refund was sent out, it would show a 21 day cycle.
That given, you can still get your refund in less time but don’t count on it.