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With the processing of 2020 federal tax returns now underway, the IRS has issued information about the likely timetable for refunds to be issued. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • The IRS began processing returns on February 12, 2021.
  • The fastest way to receive your refund is to have your return filed electronically and request the refund by direct deposit to your bank account.
  • The IRS expects about 90% of taxpayers who file electronically with direct deposit to receive their refunds within 21 days, provided there are no problems with their returns.
  • Many taxpayers who file promptly and qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) will receive their refunds in early March.
  • Those who file paper returns and/or request their refunds by check may experience longer wait times for their refunds.
  • Refunds will also be delayed if the IRS must request additional information from taxpayers due to issues with their returns.

As soon as 24 hours after electronically filing your federal return, you may track the status of your refund by using the IRS Where’s My Refund portal, at In many cases, the portal can provide a personalized refund delivery date.

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