Tax refund turnaround estimated at three weeks

The recent partial government shutdown, left people wondering how long it will take to get their tax refund this year.

This year, the Internal Revenue Service expects most refunds to be issued in less than 21 days, as long as the return doesn’t require further review.

Houston CPA and tax attorney Mark Klecka said it's unknown if the IRS can meet that deadline and schedule.

"They say 21 days, but that is just what their goal is. It's really hard to say how it's going to work," said Klecka.

He said the 21 days doesn't apply to special situations--like people who have certain tax credits, those getting thousands of dollars in refunds, or might have problems like identity theft because those are scrutinized more and experience more delays.

"The IRS is saying 21 days, but we really don't know yet, because they're not even scheduled to do their first refunds until February 27th," said Klecka.

He says three weeks is comparable to years past filing electronically. However, expect even more delays if you don't file electronically because a person has to input the information from paper returns.

Tax Refund Getty Images

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