If you are facing financial hardship, can't buy medicine, can't pay mortgage or rent and received an eviction notice, or can't pay utilities and got a shut-off notice, and you need your refund sooner, the IRS may be able to expedite the refund. You will need to contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, and explain your hardship situation. Alternatively, if you're unsuccessful reaching them by phone, you may file form 911 on IRS website.
The IRS may be able to manually expedite your refund if it is held up by a temporary backlog in processing.
If you owe tax to the IRS from a prior tax year, the IRS may be holding your refund to pay down that debt. But if you are facing a serious financial hardship and need your refund immediately, the IRS can consider not following its usual procedures of taking the refund. Instead, it may release and expedite part or all the refund to help with your hardship.
The IRS will not issue a refund before February 15th, if you claim refundable credits on your tax return, even if you're experiencing financial hardship.
The IRS can only expedite a refund held to pay an IRS debt and not debt for past due student loans and child support.