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Tax Refunds For Individuals: A Closer Look

By Sidney Kess
New York Law Journal
March 27, 2023

In February 2023, the IRS reported ( that it has issued nearly eight million refunds to individuals with respect to 2022 returns averaging $1,963, down slightly from last year’s average of $2,201. Almost 87% of refunds were made through direct deposits.

There is a time limit for filing tax refund claims:

  • Three years from the date the original tax return is filed
  • Two years from the date the tax was actually paid, if this is later than three years
  • Seven years in the case of a bad debt or a worthless security

The statute of limitations for refund claims may be suspended for a taxpayer with a financial disability, meaning the taxpayer is unable to manage financial affairs due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment, and there is no one (e.g., a spouse) to do it for the taxpayer (Code Sec. 6511(h)(2)(A)).

Refunds with respect to 2022 returns filed during the 2023 filing season usually take less than three weeks for e-filed returns or six to eight weeks for paper returns; refunds done via direct deposit are faster than paper check refunds. Individuals may check on the status of their refund using the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the IRS website within 24 hours after e-filing or four weeks after filing a paper return.


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