How Long Does it Take to Get an IRS Tax Refund?

How Long Does it Take to Get an IRS Tax Refund?
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During the year, your employer takes money out of your paycheck for the estimated tax bill you will owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If too much is withheld, you will receive a refund when you file your return.

Time Frame

Electronically filed tax returns typically have refund checks sent out within three weeks of receipt. If you file via paper, you can expect to wait about six weeks for your refund check, according to the Internal Revenue Service.


The IRS has a website to allow taxpayers to check the status of their refund called "Where's My Refund?" (See Resources). To check the status of a refund, you need to enter your Social Security number, your filing status and the amount of your refund.



You need to wait about 72 hours from the time you e-file your tax return or three weeks after mailing a paper return before checking the status of your refund.