Nothing directly from the IRS yet, but according to the Nov.21st Kiplinger Tax Letter the IRS will not be giving refund dates for 2012 returns.
The IRS has always published Pub. 2043 which gave tax pros target dates for refunds. Based on when the return was electronically accepted by the IRS, we would get a target releases date for both direct deposited and mailed refunds. This was when the IRS would release the money to the bank or when they would mail the check. But because of the problems with refunds last year, the IRS looks to be defaulting to a “within about 21 days” time frame.
The 2012 filing season (2011 returns) was a mess. First, fraud filters worked too well and delayed many of the first returns filed. Then many early February returns were caught in a bottleneck caused by the new Modernized e-File system. The MeF worked well but other systems couldn’t handle the faster processing and bogged down. Once all these issues were resolved, some taxpayers still had to wait longer than projected for their refunds.
So for 2013 filing season (2012 returns), it looks like all we will get is a general 21days time frame until the return is being processed and appears in the “Where’s My Refund” database.