IRS: Many EITC, ACTC Refunds Arriving Soon

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

IR-2018-35, Feb. 27, 2018

WASHINGTON — As the Internal Revenue Service begins releasing refunds for taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit, the agency reminds them that many of these refunds should arrive in bank accounts or on debit cards this week. That is if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with the tax return. 

Several factors, including weekends, Presidents Day and the time banks often need to process direct deposits can impact the time it takes taxpayers to receive their refunds. By law, the IRS could not issue refunds before mid-February for tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit.

The most common question taxpayers have about the status of their refund can easily be answered by using the "Where’s My Refund?" tool on or the IRS2Go mobile app. “Where’s My Refund?” was updated Feb. 17 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit. 

Many factors can affect the timing of a refund after the IRS receives a tax return. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible for refunds to take longer. Taxpayers should keep in mind that “Where’s My Refund?” is updated once daily, usually overnight, so checking more often will not produce different results.

Here are a few important things to know about tax refunds:

  • The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.
  • IRS customer service representatives cannot provide refund information until 21 days have passed since the return was filed. “Where’s My Refund?” provides the most up-to-date information. 
  • Taxpayers need their Social Security number, tax filing status (single, married, head of household) and exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the return to use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. Or they can call 800-829-1954.
  • Requesting a transcript will not reveal a tax refund status, despite the social media myth to the contrary. 
  • Some tax returns take longer to process than others for many reasons. The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if more information is needed.

Related Items:

  • FS-2018-3, Tax Refunds in 2018: What to Expect