When Can I Expect My Tax Refund? The IRS Refund Schedule

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As soon as you hit the submit button on your taxes, do you instantly start wondering, “When can I expect my tax refund?”

The majority of people hate doing taxes. Taxes are complicated, time-consuming and expensive.

But if you think you’re entitled to a tax refund, that can make tax time a little less, well, taxing.

The deadline for getting your tax return for 2021 filed is April 18th, 2022, which is a Monday.

The change is due to Emancipation Day (April 16) being on a Saturday. That means that government offices in DC will be closed on Friday, April 15, 2022.

Note that new tax laws may change how you do your taxes, so it’s important to get started early enough to take those changes into account.

Here’s everything you need to know about when you can expect your tax refund and how to spend your refund money wisely.

When Can I Expect My Tax Refund?

The IRS’s official answer is that you can expect your refund in fewer than 21 calendar days. However, be aware that the 21 day countdown starts once your tax return has been approved.

The IRS does not release any formal calendar, but this year, it began taking tax returns on January 24, 2022.

If you want to use the IRS’s free E-file system, you can start submitting your return on January 14, 2022.

While there is no formal calendar released by the IRS, here is an estimate on when you can expect to receive your tax refund.

This tax refund calendar is based on the 21 days estimated payment cycle. 

IRS Refund Schedule Chart (Estimated)

Tax Return AcceptedDirect Deposit SentPaper Check Mailed
Jan 24 – Jan 30, 2022Feb 14, 2022Feb 17, 2022
Jan 31 – Feb 6, 2022Feb 21, 2022Feb 24, 2022
Feb 7 – Feb 13, 2022Feb 28, 2022Mar 3, 2022
Feb 14 – Feb 20, 2022Mar 7, 2022Mar 10, 2022
Feb 21 – Feb 27, 2022Mar 14, 2022Mar 17, 2022
Feb 28 – Mar 6, 2022Mar 21, 2022Mar 24, 2022
Mar 7 – Mar 13, 2022Mar 28, 2022Mar 31, 2022
Mar 14 – Mar 20, 2022Apr 4, 2022Apr 7, 2022
Mar 21 -Mar 27, 2022Apr 11, 2022Apr 14, 2022
Mar 28- Apr 3, 2022Apr 18, 2022Apr 21, 2022
Apr 4 – Apr 10, 2022Apr 25, 2022Apr 28, 2022
Apr 11 – Apr 17, 2022May 2, 2022May 5, 2022
Apr 18 – Apr 24, 2022May 9, 2022May 12, 2022
Apr 25 – May 1, 2022May 16, 2022May 19, 2022

However, this schedule is a guideline, and the IRS doesn’t have to adhere to it.

Your refund may come sooner or later than the estimated payout dates. But I recommend not making any huge financial plans based on your refund payment date.

Remember, you’re dealing with the IRS, and delays can (and do) happen.

Besides your refund payment being delayed, there are other common tax refund events that can happen.

See the IRS website for more information. Next, let’s talk about ways you can have a lower tax bill next year.


Remember, the upcoming tax deadline for 2022 is Monday, April 18.

If you can, file your taxes before the deadline or apply for an extension if you are unable to have them completed by that date.

And if you have a complicated situation, a tax accountant might make things easier and save you more in tax breaks.

When it comes to filing your taxes and getting your refund as fast as possible, it’s helpful to file online and choose direct deposit for payment.

This option is best because sending in a paper return or requesting a check for payment will add weeks to getting your tax refund.

The IRS’s Where’s My Refund tracking tool and mobile app are great resources for following your tax refund from beginning to end.

While you should get your tax refund within 21 days, sometimes it may take longer, and you might need to provide more information.

Make sure you file on time, enter the correct bank account information and avoid contacting the IRS unless it is after the 21-day deadline. 

Before you spend any of your tax refund money, find a way to align it with your current financial goals. Then, use it to help fund those goals.

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