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2017 Income Tax Refund Schedule

The IRS will start processing most returns on January 24, but will not start processing returns with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until Feb. 15, 2017.

The IRS will begin processing tax returns on January 24, 2017, for taxes paid/owed in 2016. In general, the IRS says that returns with refunds are processed and payments issued within 21 days. For paper filers, this can take much longer, however. The IRS and tax professionals strongly encourage electronic filing.

How quickly a taxpayer receives a refund also depends on when they file and whether they have requested a direct deposit of their refund, or a paper check. This is because during some time frames there is increased traffic, with more filers getting their forms in. The busiest time, and which can experience longer waits on refunds, is usually for those who file in the last week before the April 15 deadline.