Track My Refund – Check IRS Tax Return Status Online @irs.gov

The “Where’s My Refund” tool provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the fastest and easiest way to track your federal tax refund. You can use this tool on the IRS website.

Track My Refund

To Track your refund, make use of the “Where’s My Refund?” tool provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States. This online tool enables you to check the current status of your refund.

The information on the tool is updated once daily, usually overnight, so checking once a day is sufficient.

If you’ve e-filed your tax return, check the status within 24 hours, while paper filers should wait around four weeks. The “Where’s My Refund?” tool provides up-to-date information, including the issuance date of your refund.

How to Track My Refund?

To track my refund, follow the steps mentioned below:

Prepare Your Details:

  • Gather essential information – Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), filing status, and the precise refund amount.

Visit the official IRS Website:

  • Go to

Select “Check Your Refund Status”:

  • Click on the blue “Check Your Refund Status” button on the right side of the page.

Enter Your Information:

Track My Refund

  • Complete the required fields:
    • Social Security Number
    • Select the filing status you want using the dropdown menu.
    • Refund Amount: Input the exact refund amount in whole dollars.

Submit and Review Your Status:

  • Click “Submit.” If your details match and your return is processed, your refund status message will be displayed.

Familiarise yourself with common status messages:

  • Return Received: Your return is in processing.
  • Return Approved: Your refund is approved, with a scheduled sending date.
  • Refund Sent: Your refund is on its way to your bank account or mailing address.

Who is eligible for IRS Refund?

Criteria mentioned on who is eligible for a tax refund:

  • Taxpayers who overpaid their taxes or had excess tax withheld from their paychecks are eligible for a refund.
  • Taxpayers who qualify for refundable tax credits, may be eligible for a refund even if they did not have any federal income tax withheld from their paychecks.
  • Taxpayers who file their tax returns within three years of the original due date, including extensions, may be eligible for a refund.
  • Taxpayers who owe no federal income tax and have no refundable tax credits are not eligible for a refund.

IRS Refund Processing Time

Track my refund usually show refund status within the below mentioned time frame:

  • After the IRS receives your paper tax return and it is complete and accurate, you should get your refund within six to eight weeks.
  • If you file your return electronically, your refund should be issued in less than three weeks, especially if you choose direct deposit.
  • In fewer than 21 days, the IRS delivers refunds to almost 90% of the taxpayers.
  • Taxpayers can start checking the status of their return within 24 hours after e-filing or four weeks after mailing a paper return using the “Where’s My Refund” tool on the IRS website or the IRS2Go mobile app.
  • The tool displays the progress of the return through three stages: Return Received, Refund Approved, and Refund Sent.
  • Refunds are generally issued within 21 days of electronically filed tax returns, and longer for paper returns.

What to Do If Your IRS Tax Refund Is Delayed?

If your IRS refund is taking longer than expected and “Where’s My Refund?” doesn’t provide a clear explanation, consider the following steps:

Exercise Patience:

  • Despite the frustration, delays can occur due to processing backlogs or verification procedures. 
  • Give it an extra week, considering that bank deposits may take a few days, and mailed checks can take several weeks.

Contact the IRS:

  • If it has been more than 21 days for e-filed returns or 8 weeks for paper returns, and you haven’t received your refund, or if “Where’s My Refund?” indicates additional action is required, reach out to the IRS at:
  • 800-829-1954 for current-year returns
  • 866-464-2050 for amended returns

Factors Impacting Refund Timeframe

Several factors can influence the duration it takes to receive your tax refund:

Errors or Incomplete Information:

  • Missing signatures, incorrect Social Security numbers, or typos can trigger manual review, causing delays in processing your refund.

Complex Tax Situations:

  • Returns involving self-employment income, foreign income, or amendments often require additional scrutiny, extending the processing timeline.

Claiming Certain Credits:

  • Special rules and verification procedures apply to credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), leading to prolonged processing times. 
  • Refunds with these credits cannot be issued before mid-February by law.

Identity Theft or Fraud:

  • Suspected fraudulent activity prompts thorough investigation, potentially delaying your refund as the IRS confirms your identity.

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