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Taxes

Here’s when you should expect to receive your tax refund

How to have the best chance at a speedy refund.

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Tax season began on Jan. 29, 2024, when the IRS started accepting and processing 2023 tax returns. As of the week ending March 8, the agency has processed about 62 million returns and issued more than 43 million refunds.

To date, the average refund issued in 2024 is $3,145.

Here's what you need to know about your refund, including when to expect it, what might hold it up and more.

When are taxes due in 2024?

The deadline for most taxpayers to file a federal tax return is Monday, April 15, 2024.

Because of the observances of Patriot's Day (April 15) and Emancipation Day (April 16), taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have until Wednesday, April 17, 2024, to file. 

Parts of the U.S. impacted by severe weather have been given extensions to file their federal returns. A full list of affected states is available on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.

How to file your taxes

The IRS encourages taxpayers to leave enough time to gather documents and deal with any issues ahead of the deadline. You should also make sure your banking and personal information is correct and current to avoid delays or mistakes with your refund.

If you're nervous about filing yourself, using TurboTax is one of the easiest ways to do it. The basic free edition, which accepts Form 1040 and limited tax credits, provides guided preparation and lets you import your W-2 and previous returns. According to TurboTax, 37% of filers are eligible to use TurboTax Free Edition for free.

If you're itemizing deductions, TurboTax Deluxe Online, a paid version, allows you to report investment, business and rental income and checks to see if you qualify for any of hundreds of deductions and credits.

TurboTax

On TurboTax's secure site
  • Cost

    Costs may vary depending on the plan selected - click "Learn More" for details

  • Free version

    TurboTax Free Edition. ~37% of taxpayers qualify. Form 1040 + limited credits only.

  • Mobile app

    Yes

  • Live support

    Available with some pricing and filing options

Click here for TurboTax offer details and disclosures. Terms apply.

H&R Block also has a free edition that's good for simple returns, and a deluxe version that lets you itemize, report self-employment taxes and get help from both live experts and H&R Block’s AI tax assistant. The company's no-interest Refund Advance Loan can make up to $3,500 available the same day you file.

H&R Block

On H&R Block's secure site
  • Cost

    Costs may vary depending on the plan selected (Free Online, Deluxe, Premium, or Self-Employed) - click "Learn More" for details

  • Free version

    Yes (for simple returns only)

  • Mobile app

    Yes

  • Live support

    Available with some pricing and filing options

Terms apply.

If your adjusted gross income in 2023 was less than $79,000, you may be able to file for free through Free File, a partnership between the IRS and top tax software companies.

The IRS has also launched its Direct File pilot program, a free way to file your federal tax return online. Currently, the program is only open to residents of 12 states (Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming) who report certain kinds of income and credits.  

When you can expect your tax refund

If you file an electronic return, expect a refund and opted for direct deposit, you should get it within 21 days of filing, as long as there are no issues with your return, like inaccuracies or incomplete information, according to the IRS.

If you sent your return by mail or filed an amended return, it will take at least four weeks for your refund to be processed.

To check your refund status, use the Where's My Refund? tool on the IRS website. You'll need to input your Social Security number, filing status and the refund amount listed on your return.

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every tax article is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best tax information.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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