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When Is That State Tax Refund Coming?

By Elizabeth Rosen

NEW YORK (IRS.com) — To figure out the status of your state tax refund (i.e., when your refund will arrive), you must first take into account how you sent in your state income tax return. Depending on the filing method you chose, you can get a ballpark estimate of when to expect your tax refund.

If you send a paper tax return to your state’s department of revenue (or whichever agency administers and collects your state taxes) through the mail, you should expect a much longer wait for your state refund than if you file electronically (also known as “e-filing”).

INFOGRAPHIC: Dramatic rise in e-filing

Generally, a paper tax return sent via mail can mean that you have to wait up to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. This is due to waiting for the document to make its way through the Postal Service system, as well as longer processing times for paper tax forms. On the other hand, taxpayers who e-file may get their tax refund in as little as three weeks after e-filing their return — probably before they even find themselves asking, “Where’s my refund?

When contemplating the arrival date of your state tax refund, you should also consider when you submitted your state tax return. If you filed closer to the end of the tax season — which may be on or near the April 15 federal filing deadline, depending on your state — be patient with checking your state refund status. Remember that your state’s department of taxation will be more swamped than usual during this time, and there might be a delay in sending out your tax refund simply because of volume.

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