Every tax season, many taxpayers play the guessing game of when they will get their refund deposited into their bank account. The “IRS cycle code”, hidden on your tax transcript, can help to uncover the direct deposit date.
If you have looked over your tax transcript in the past and tried to decipher it, you may have noticed an eight-digit code. This code is more than just a seemingly random selection of numbers, it can help you determine when you might get your tax refund.
While this is a helpful guide for 2022, it also will not account for unforeseen delays or other reasons your refund might be getting delayed by the IRS.
What is an IRS Transcript Cycle Code?
A tax transcript cycle code is an eight-digit code that can be found on your account transcripts. There is a way that the code is set up that tells you information. The cycle code represents the day that your account was posted to the IRS Master File. If you are able to see a cycle code on your tax transcript, then this means that your return has arrived at the IRS and is likely being processed.
The cycle code and tax topic need to be used together to give you the most accurate return or refund status. You will need to wait until your 846 code has been shown on your transcript, indicating that you will be getting a refund and your direct deposit date has already been determined.
Deciphering the Cycle Code
You will be able to see your cycle information via your IRS transcript. Many taxpayers want to decipher their transcript cycle code because this will give them better insight into when they might receive their tax refund. Deciphering the cycle code can help to inform you of which batch you are currently in. The code follows a format that is year-week and day of the week.
An example of an IRS transcript cycle code for 2022 would be 20220504.
First 4 digits
The first four digits represent the current tax processing year. In the example used above, the tax processing year would be 2022.
Digits 5 and 6
The fifth and sixth digits represent the week of the tax processing year. The example used above has a “05” after the processing year. This means that it would be the fifth week of the calendar year. Months are not considered for processing codes. Instead, you will need to use a calendar and count the weeks.
Digits 7 and 8
The seventh and eighth digits represent the day of the week that your account was uploaded to the IRS Master File. Processing is indicated differently than you might expect. The daily processing begins on Fridays. Friday is relative to 01. Monday is 02. Tuesday is 03. Wednesday is 04. Thursday is considered weekly processing. For the example above, the account was uploaded on a Wednesday.
How Do I Find My IRS Cycle Code?
Your cycle code will be updated regularly and will be combined with any tax transcription codes. While the IRS typically updates cycle codes regularly to help disclose specific details, updates are usually done in batches. The cycle code, as well as the tax transcription code, can tell you important information about your refund status, processing cycle, and your potential direct deposit date.
To view your IRS cycle code you will need to get access to your official IRS transcript. It’s free to obtain! Near the top of your transcript, under “Transactions”, you will see another heading titled “Cycle”. Here, you will be able to see your eight-digit cycle code.
Weekly vs Daily Processing Cycle
There are four daily processing days for the IRS per week. They are as follows:
- 01 = Friday
- 02 = Monday
- 03 = Tuesday
- 04 = Wednesday
- Thursday is usually for weekly processing.
In the example above, the account was posted on a Wednesday. This means that the return was filed successfully and it is now in a daily batch cycle.
Status updates for daily accounts happen on Wednesdays. Accounts that are considered weekly accounts, which are those with an 05 cycle code), are usually updated on Saturdays.
Confirmation of Refund
The cycle code and tax topic need to be combined for you to learn your refund status. You will need to keep in mind that your cycle code can change throughout the processing cycle.
To check the status of your refund, the IRS has suggested using the Where’s My Refund? portal through IRS.gov. You will need to provide some identifying information to see the status of your refund. This includes your Social Security numbers, filing status, and your refund amount. After the IRS has received your return, you will be able to check the status.
Here are the answers to some common questions about the IRS cycle code.
The IRS daily processing cycle is indicated by the last two digits of your eight-digit cycle code. Digits 01 through 04 are typically indicative of a daily cycle, while digit 05 means you are on a weekly cycle.
The processing date represented by your cycle code informs you when your tax transcript will be updated.
The IRS will update your refund status information once a week and it takes place on Wednesdays. Once the IRS confirms receipt of your return, you will need to wait at least 24 hours if you e-filed and four weeks if you mailed your return before you can check your status.
Most refunds are issued in less than 21 calendar days. However, some returns may take longer. Many e-filers can expect approvals within 48 hours.