The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance publishes information about tax refunds and provides a tool for checking on the status of a pending refund on its website. The department also publishes periodic reports about the tax returns it processes that include data about refunds.
Refunds arrive more quickly – in about three weeks – to filers who send their returns in electronically and choose to receive their refunds by direct deposit. Requesting a paper check instead of direct deposit adds a week to the time it takes to be paid a refund, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance. Filing a return on paper adds about three weeks to the processing time. Once a refund is approved for payment, the Department of Taxation and Finance automatically issues a payment date in its system. The Department of Taxation and Finance's Where's Your Refund? tool shows the scheduled payment date and amount of a refund, once approved.
New York State processes approximately 10 million income tax returns annually, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance. Each return is reviewed by a software system and then reviewed by a staff person only if necessary. In some cases, the Department of Taxation and Finance requests additional information from a taxpayer before processing a refund.