Here’s your estimated 2019 tax refund schedule

Channel 2 Consumer Advisor Clark Howard on why you should go ahead and file -- even if you're worried about what you owe.

Wondering when you might get the refund for your 2018 taxes from the IRS this year? It depends on when you file (along with a few other variables), but read on to know what you you should expect.

The IRS began accepting returns in late January. The deadline for filing your taxes is April 15 (April 17 if you live in Maine or Massachusetts).

Historically, the Internal Revenue Service has said it issues most refunds in less than 21 calendar days after you file your return.

» Where and how to mail your federal tax return in Georgia

Just know this: The way you file and how you request a refund can affect how long it takes for your money to show up.

This year, the IRS strongly recommends that you e-file your taxes, rather than sending in a paper return. Of course, everyone must make their own decision about which method to use when filing.

If you haven’t filed yet, Credit Karma’s free tax return prep software allows you to file for free. This service debuted in 2017 and stands out from the IRS Free File offer because this one makes free prep software available to all regardless of income.

» 7 tips for procrastinating taxpayers before the deadline

So taking everything into account, we have put together this estimated tax refund schedule for 2019.

Here’s when you can look forward to your tax refund in 2019:

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If you file and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), you could be in for a longer wait. By law, the earliest those refunds will be deposited into accounts is February 27. This is to help prevent fraud.

Once you file, you can track the status of your refund at Where's My Refund?

Be sure to allow 24 hours after you’ve e-filed before you check — or four weeks if you’re mailing a paper return. (The IRS says EITC/ACTC filers must wait until Feb. 23 before they can begin checking.)

You just need three pieces of info to get started:

  • Social Security number
  • Your filing status
  • Your exact refund amount