What Does it Mean When TurboTax Says Your Refund is on its Way

Learn what it means when TurboTax tells you your refund is on its way, and why it’s not always a guarantee of immediate payment. Understand the process behind tax refunds and common reasons for delays.

Understanding TurboTax Refund Status

For many taxpayers, seeing the message ‘your refund is on its way’ on TurboTax can bring a sense of relief and excitement. But what does this message actually mean?

Processing Completion

When TurboTax informs you that your refund is on its way, it typically means that your tax return has been processed by the IRS and your refund is approved. The IRS has verified the information on your return and is ready to issue your refund.

Direct Deposit or Check

Depending on the method you chose for receiving your refund (direct deposit or check), the timeline for receiving it may vary. Direct deposit refunds are usually faster, with most taxpayers seeing the funds in their account within 21 days of the IRS accepting their return.

Reasons for Delay

If your refund status on TurboTax shows as ‘pending’ or ‘processing’ for an extended period, it could be due to various reasons such as errors on your return, missing information, or the IRS needing additional time to review your return.

Case Studies

One taxpayer, John, filed his return using TurboTax and received a message that his refund was on its way. However, after a few weeks, he noticed that his refund status had changed to ‘under review.’ Upon contacting the IRS, he was informed that they needed more information about his deductions before they could issue his refund.


  • According to the IRS, over 156 million individual tax returns were filed in 2020, with over 120 million taxpayers receiving refunds.
  • The average tax refund in 2020 was $2,741.

So, when TurboTax says your refund is on its way, it means that the IRS has processed your return and approved your refund. Keep an eye on your bank account or mailbox for the arrival of your much-awaited refund!

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