When will I get my tax refund?

Photo: IRS.com

Q. When will I get my tax refund?
— Waiting

A. Tuesday, April 18 was the date your tax returns were due this year. That’s because April 15 fell on a weekend, and the Monday after was Emancipation Day.

Here’s what the IRS and the state’s Division of Taxation say about your refunds.

New Jersey started issuing income tax refunds around March 1, its website said.

You have several options to check on your return.

First, you can call (800) 323-4400 or (609) 826-4400 to reach Taxation’s automated service. You will need to enter your Social Security number and the amount of the refund you’re expecting.

“These automated systems can tell you if and when your refund was mailed and when you should receive it,” the website said.

If you filed electronically and requested a direct deposit, the system can tell you when a deposit was made to your account.

You can also use Taxation’s online “Income Tax Refund Status Service” tool to check up on your 2016 refund.

For this, you’ll also need to provide your Social Security number and the amount of your refund.

When your refund update will be available via either system will depend on when you filed your return.

If you filed electronically, it could take at least four weeks, and for paper returns, it could take at least 12 weeks, before your information is in the system, the website said.

“Paper returns are not logged in as they are received,” the website said. “Division of Taxation personnel cannot verify receipt of your return until processing has begun, and the return appears in our computer system.”

Your federal return information has a different timeline, and you can expect your refund in less than 21 days.

You can use the IRS’ “Where’s my refund” tool, which is updated every 24 hours.

Electronic returns that have been filed at least 24 hours before, and paper returns that were filed four weeks before, should make it into the system.

“When the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund, you can see your actual personalized refund date,” the IRS website said. “Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days after we receive your tax return, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer.”

When you do receive your refund, put it to good use. Pay down debt or start an emergency fund. Or invest it for the future.

Also consider changing your tax withholdings. Some people think of their tax refund as an automatic savings plan, but most people are better off having more in their paychecks each week.

And if you haven’t filed a return, learn about your options.

Email your questions to .

This post was initially published in April 2017.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.