You don't need to worry about your federal tax refund being delayed this year, at least not for the most part. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, according to the report.
However, while most refunds are issued in less than three weeks, the report states, some may be delayed. "By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds for tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February."
So, even if you filed in January, if you claimed an EITC or ACTC, you likely won't see a refund until Feb. 27, assuming you opted for direct deposit and there are no issues with your return.
"Other returns may require additional review for a variety of reasons and take longer," the report continues. "For example, the IRS, along with its partners in the tax industry, continue to strengthen security reviews to help protect against identity theft and refund fraud."
Most filers, nonetheless, will see a quick refund, especially if they file online and opt for direct deposit versus mailed paper refunds. E-filing is "the safest, fastest way to receive a refund," the report notes.