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Pretty much everyone hates filing their taxes each year. But millions of us love the end result — a nice, fat tax refund check.

However, if you aren’t especially careful, you might have to wait awhile to receive those funds.

The IRS notes that most taxpayers will receive their refund within 21 days of filing their return. But that is only if you do things right, including filing electronically and choosing direct deposit for your payment.

Other taxpayers may need to be more patient — especially those who file a return that is missing information or claims specific credits. According to the IRS, you might run into a refund delay for the following reasons:

In that case, it might take the IRS longer to process your return or for the money to hit your bank account. The IRS says it will contact you by mail if it needs more information to complete the review of your return.

If you have waited until the last moment to file your return, check out “6 Free and Cheap Ways to File Your Taxes Online.”

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