If you file electronically, most refunds are processed within 21 days of receipt. If you mail your paper return, it may take up to 4 weeks to process. Most refunds are expected to be issued within 21 days of processing. If the IRS identifies significant discrepancies between the income information provided on the return and that provided by employers, there may be additional delays as the IRS seeks to resolve the discrepancy.
Taxpayers who applied for the EITC or the ACTC are probably still waiting for their refund to be paid. These credits provide a much needed financial boost for many families, so waiting for a refund can be frustrating. The IRS can delay your tax refund until you complete any audit. This is more common when the IRS conducts a postal audit of your previous year's EITC or ACTC return.
Normally, you will receive a CP88 letter from the IRS stating that your refund is frozen until the IRS completes the audit. If you respond with the requested information before the deadline, the IRS will generally complete the audit within six months and may refund your refund. Refunds should be available in your account before the first week of March if you chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return.