Plus, learn about the most common reasons for refund delays.

By Katelyn Chef
April 05, 2021
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that the official last day to file your taxes without filing for an extension is May 17, with the exception of this year's victims of February's winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, who now have until June 15.

While that deadline looms near, some have already filed their taxes and others are expecting to get theirs in soon. So, what exactly happens after you file your taxes? Aside from a sigh of relief, you can expect your return, if e-filing, 21 days after everything has been submitted. Those who filed a paper form in the mail can expect their tax return at least six weeks after filing.

Individual Income Tax Form
Credit: Pra-chid / Getty Images

While this is the general rule of thumb, there are exceptions. People are known to experience delays in their refunds for any number of reasons, but the main reasons are: amending your return, claiming multiple credits and deductions, and filing an incomplete or even incorrect return. The benefit of filing your taxes well before Tax Day is that doing so sooner gains you access to your return sooner, which can assist with debt payoff as well as a little boost in your savings account.

If you haven't received your tax return, Colleen McCreary, chief people officer at Credit Karma says there are free IRS tools Where is My Refund and the IRS2Go mobile app. Here, you can check the status of your refund as quickly as 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-file and both systems are updated once daily. If it has been 21 days or more since you e-filed and, still, you don't have an update on your refund, you can call the IRS; have your social security number or ITIN, filing status, and exact refund amount ready.

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