How to Check Your Tax Refund Status

Taxes

One of the hardest parts about doing your taxes? Waiting for that refund to hit your bank account.

If you’re expecting a tax refund this year, here’s how you can check on the status of your refund — and when you can expect to have that cash in hand.

Ways to check the status of your tax refund

There are three different ways to easily track the status of your refund.

  • Where’s My Refund? – This is the IRS’s official online tool for tracking the status of your refund.
  • IRS2Go mobile app – This IRS app is an easy way to check the status of your refund from any mobile device.
  • IRS TeleTax System – You can also call the IRS TeleTax System at 1-800-829-4477 and use their automated telephone system to check the status of your refund.

For all methods listed above, taxpayers will need to input their Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount. All methods are available in both English and Spanish.

How soon can I track my refund status?

How quickly you can track the status of your tax refund depends on how you filed your individual income tax return this year:

  • E-filers can typically check their refund status within 24 hours after e-filing their return online.
  • Paper filers need to wait four weeks after mailing their return before they can view their refund status online or on the IRS mobile app.
  • Callers to the IRS TeleTax System should wait at least four weeks before checking their refund status by phone. The TeleTax refund information is updated each weekend, so it’s best to wait a week before calling back to check again.

The stages of my refund

There are three possible stages when checking on your refund status:

  • Return Received
  • Refund Approved
  • Refund Sent

In some cases, if there is an issue with your return, the Where’s My Refund tool may direct you to call the IRS for more information.

When to expect your tax refund from the IRS

How long it takes to receive your refund also varies depending on how you filed your tax return:

  • E-filers should be issued a refund in less than three weeks.
  • Paper filers should be issued a refund about six to eight weeks after mailing your return.

In general, the quickest way to get your refund is to file electronically and choose Direct Deposit rather than receiving a mailed check.

What if my refund is taking longer than anticipated?

Delays are always frustrating, and there are many ways they can happen. Inaccurate or incomplete information, math errors, and missing signatures are common reasons your federal tax return may be delayed. Errors like these can interrupt the processing of your return while the IRS works to correct the mistake. Filing an amended return can make it take even longer to get your tax refund check.

For tax season 2021, the IRS is taking longer than usual to process some returns, especially if corrections are needed to the Child Tax Credit or Recovery Rebate Credit amount.

Due to high call volumes, the IRS recommends not to call them with questions about your refund unless you’ve been instructed to do so or if it’s been longer than 21 days since you e-filed your return.

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