Understanding the Difference Between ‘Accepted’ and ‘Approved’ Tax Returns

What Does ‘Accepted’ Mean for Tax Returns?

When a tax return is marked as ‘accepted,’ it signifies that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has received and completed an initial screening of the return. This initial screening involves verifying that the return contains the necessary information, such as a valid Social Security number and correctly claimed dependents.

What Does ‘Approved’ Mean for Tax Returns?

Once a tax return has been accepted, the IRS will conduct a more thorough review to determine its accuracy. This review includes checking for mathematical errors, verifying that the taxpayer does not owe any back taxes or unpaid child support, and ensuring that all necessary documentation is included. If the IRS finds no discrepancies or issues, the return will be ‘approved.’

Difference Between ‘Accepted’ and ‘Approved’

The key difference between ‘accepted’ and ‘approved’ is that ‘accepted’ simply acknowledges receipt and initial screening, while ‘approved’ indicates that the IRS has verified the accuracy of the return. An ‘accepted’ return does not guarantee that a refund will be issued or that no additional taxes are owed.

Timeline for Tax Return Processing

After a tax return is filed, it typically takes the IRS a few days to three weeks to change the status from ‘accepted’ to ‘approved.’ If a refund is due, the IRS will issue the refund within 21 days of approval. However, some refunds may take longer to process due to various factors.

What to Do if Your Return is ‘Accepted’ but Not ‘Approved’

If your tax return has been ‘accepted’ but not yet ‘approved,’ you should monitor the status of your return using the IRS’s ‘Where’s My Refund?’ tool. If more than 21 days have passed since your return was accepted and it is still not approved, you can contact the IRS for assistance.

Understanding the difference between ‘accepted’ and ‘approved’ tax returns is crucial for taxpayers. While ‘accepted’ indicates that the IRS has received and screened the return, ‘approved’ signifies that the IRS has verified its accuracy. Taxpayers should monitor the status of their returns and contact the IRS if their return has been ‘accepted’ but not ‘approved’ within a reasonable timeframe.

Does accepted mean my refund is approved?


How long after accepted is refund approved?

Remember, acceptance by the IRS doesn’t mean approval of the refund yet—it just means you have made it to the starting line of the refund process. Keep an eye on the prize: most refunds, especially if you’re using direct deposit, arrive within a 21-day window after acceptance.

Why does my refund say accepted but not approved?

“IRS Accepted Return But Not Approved” Meaning If a taxpayer receives the status update that their tax return was accepted but not approved, this means that the IRS has received their tax return, but they have not yet evaluated the information.

How long does it take for IRS to approve refund after it is accepted 2024?

According to the IRS, the agency issues most refunds within 21 days of filing online or four weeks of mailing your paper return, but a few circumstances could delay processing. Math errors or missing information are common culprits that can lead to longer waiting times.

What does’refund approved’ mean on a tax return?

Return received. Refund approved. Refund sent. When the status changes to “refund approved,” the IRS is preparing to send the refund, either as a direct deposit to the taxpayer’s bank account or directly to the taxpayer by a check in the mail to the address on their tax return. Taxpayers don’t need to check their refund status more than once a day.

What does it mean if my tax return is accepted?

If your tax return is accepted by the IRS, it means your return has passed initial inspection. But that doesn’t mean your refund was approved yet. Does “accepted” mean my tax refund is approved? What happens after the IRS accepts your tax return? How long does it take the IRS to issue a refund once your return is approved?

Why does where’s my refund say ‘approved’ but TurboTax says ‘accepted’?

Why does Where’s My Refund say “approved” but TurboTax still says “accepted”? Accepted is the status of your tax return— not your tax refund. Once your return has been accepted (received) by the government, they take over the refund status update duties, since they hold the purse strings. The status in TurboTax will remain as accepted.

What does it mean if a tax refund is not approved?

Although it may drive you crazy waiting for your refund, this status could just mean that the IRS hasn’t approved your refund as yet and it reviewing your return. Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days. Additional review may be the case if you claim credits such as the Additional Child Tax Credit, or Earned Income Credit.

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