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Where's My Refund? How To Check IRS Tax Refund Status

Manasa Reddigari

It's tax season and that means a few things: paying your taxes and maybe getting a refund. If you've already filed and get an IRS tax refund, you're likely asking "Where's my refund?" Luckily, you can find this out in less than five minutes.  

Where's My Refund? Check Your IRS Tax Refund Status

Visit the IRS' Where's My Refund? Tool to check your refund.

Whether you're due a refund through a mileage deductions, overpaid estimated taxes or small business tax credits, you might be wondering, "Where's my refund?" The IRS claims that it issues 90 percent of refunds within 21 days. If you e-filed and selected direct deposit as your refund delivery option, you selected the fastest, easiest and safest refund delivery option.    

Direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund and it's the most versatile. You are still eligible for a direct deposit refund even if you filed your taxes by paper.  

The more complex tax returns can take longer for the IRS to review. Unfortunately, this can apply to business owners. This prolonged review can delay your refund delivery beyond the typical 21-day period.  

Also, you can expect a longer waiting period if you used a Form 1042-S (Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding) or a 1040NR. In fact, the IRS advices allowing up to six months from the latter of the initial due date of the 1040NR return or the filing date the 1040NR to receive a refund.  

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How to Check the Tax Refund Status

 The IRS' Where's My Refund? tool allows taxpayers to check the status of their refunds online. You need:  

  • Your Social Security Number (or ITIN)
  • The filing status
  • Exact refund amount to see your tax refund status.

You can check your tax refund status as early as 24 hours after your e-filed tax return was received or four weeks after mailing your paper tax return. The tool is updated overnight but typically no more than once every 24 hours.  

Through the tool, you can get personalized refund information and an actual refund date based on the processing of your return. The IRS refund tracker also indicates the progress of your tax return from receipt through refund in three stages: Return Received, Refund Approved and Refund Sent.  

Taxpayers can also consult IRS experts by phone or walk-in to research the status of their tax refund. The IRS asks that you only use these options if it has been 21 days or more since filing electronically, six weeks or more since mailing your paper return or if the Where's My Refund? tool advised using these alternate methods.  

To check the status of your tax refund, visit the IRS' Where's My Refund? Tool online.

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