How Long Does A Federal Tax Return Check Take?

A federal tax return check can take several days to several months to process.  The time that it takes to receive a federal tax return check depends on when you file your federal tax return.  It also depends on the type of return you file. The simpler the filing, the quicker the return can be processed and a check can be sent to you. The more attachments or schedules that have to accompany a federal income tax return, the longer it takes for the IRS to review and send a refund check.

Filing Immediately

The IRS recommends that federal income tax returns be filed as soon as possible before April 15th. Filing early gives the IRS more time to review the return, check the form for accuracy and process any refunds that are due. When an individual’s W-2 statement is received from their employer, usually before January 31st, the return should be nearly completed and ready to be filed within a few days.

Filing Electronically

The IRS also recommends that a federal tax return be filed electronically. This allows the IRS to receive the return faster and begin the refund turnaround. When filing electronically, a taxpayer can provide information about their checking or savings account in which they wish to have their refund deposit. A direct deposit of a tax refund takes much less time to receive than waiting for the IRS to cut a manual check.

Tax Refund Anticipation Loans

Some taxpayers use tax refund anticipation loans as a way to receive their refund faster. These loans will give a taxpayer their refund on a same day basis. A word of caution however; understand what the interest cost is for these loans because in many cases a taxpayer may pay an excessive loan amount in order to receive their refund that day. In many cases, it may be advisable for the taxpayer to wait to have their refund processed directly by the IRS and have the money sent through direct deposit.


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