What Does 846 Mean on Tax Transcript

Uncover the mystery behind code 846 on your tax transcript and learn how it relates to your tax refund. Explore the timeline for refund issuance and common queries surrounding this code.

Understanding the Meaning of 846 on Tax Transcript

When individuals receive their IRS tax transcripts, one common code that may raise questions is ‘846.’ This code signifies a specific type of transaction related to tax refunds. It is essential to decipher what this code means to have a better understanding of your tax situation.

Explanation of Code 846

Code 846 on a tax transcript indicates the issuance of a tax refund by the IRS. When this code appears, it means that the IRS has processed an individual’s tax return and determined that they are owed a refund. The code appears on the transcript once the IRS has approved the refund and sent it for processing.

Timeline for Refund Issuance

After code 846 appears on your tax transcript, it typically takes around 21 days for you to receive your refund. However, certain factors, such as errors on your return or the need for further review, can delay the process. It is advisable to check the IRS’s ‘Where’s My Refund’ tool for more accurate information on your refund status.

Common Questions about Code 846

  • Why is my refund taking longer than 21 days to process?
  • What should I do if there is a discrepancy in the refund amount?

Case Study: John’s Experience with Code 846

John filed his tax return in February and eagerly awaited his refund. When checking his tax transcript, he noticed code 846 and wondered what it meant. After researching, he found out that the code indicated his refund issuance. John received his refund within the expected timeframe and was relieved to have clarity on the process.

Statistics on Refund Issuance

According to IRS data, over 150 million individual tax returns are processed each year, with a significant portion resulting in refunds. The average refund amount in recent years has been around $2,800 per taxpayer.


Understanding code 846 on your tax transcript is crucial for decoding the status of your tax refund. By familiarizing yourself with the meaning of this code and the typical timeline for refund issuance, you can stay informed about your tax situation. Remember to check the IRS’s online tools for real-time updates on your refund status.

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