Where Is My Refund? How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund Online

Where Is My Refund? How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund Online

If you are expecting a tax refund from the IRS or your state tax authority, you might be wondering where is your refund and when will you receive it. Fortunately, there are easy ways to check the status of your tax refund online, using your computer or mobile device. In this blog post, we will show you how to use the official tools and websites to track your refund and get the latest information.

How to Check Your Federal Tax Refund Status

The IRS provides a free online tool called Where’s My Refund? that allows you to check the status of your federal tax refund 24 hours after you e-file your return, or four weeks after you mail a paper return. You can also use the IRS2Go mobile app to access the same tool on your smartphone or tablet.

To use the tool, you will need to enter your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), your filing status (single, married filing jointly, etc.), and the exact amount of your refund as shown on your tax return. The tool will then show you the status of your refund in three stages:

  • Return received: This means that the IRS has received your tax return and is processing it.
  • Refund approved: This means that the IRS has approved your refund and is preparing to send it to you.
  • Refund sent: This means that the IRS has sent your refund to your bank account or by mail, depending on how you chose to receive it.

The tool will also give you a projected date for when you can expect to receive your refund, as soon as it is approved. However, this date is not a guarantee, and it may change due to various factors, such as errors, delays, or audits. The IRS advises that you only call them about your refund status if the tool directs you to do so, or if it has been more than 21 days since you e-filed your return, or more than six weeks since you mailed your paper return.

How to Check Your State Tax Refund Status

If you are also expecting a state tax refund, you will need to check the status of your refund with your state tax authority, as they have their own processes and timelines. You can find the official website of your state tax authority by visiting the State Government Websites page on USA.gov, and look for the section on taxes or revenue. Alternatively, you can use a search engine, such as Bing, and type in your state name and “tax refund status” or “where’s my refund”.

Each state has its own online tool or website to check the status of your state tax refund, and they may require different information from you, such as your Social Security number, your state tax identification number, your filing status, your refund amount, or your confirmation number. You can usually find the instructions and requirements on the website of your state tax authority, or on your state tax return form. Some states may also provide a phone number or an email address to contact them about your refund status.

The time it takes for your state tax refund to arrive may vary depending on your state, your filing method, and your refund method. Some states may process your refund faster than others, and some may have longer delays due to high volume, security measures, or budget issues. You should check the website of your state tax authority for the estimated processing time and the expected delivery date of your refund.

Tips to Get Your Tax Refund Faster and Safer

If you want to get your tax refund faster and safer, here are some tips that you can follow:

  • File your tax return electronically: E-filing your tax return is faster, easier, and more accurate than mailing a paper return. It can also reduce the chances of errors, delays, or audits. You can use the Free File program on the IRS website to file your federal tax return for free, if you meet the income eligibility criteria. You can also use the Free File Alliance to find free or low-cost options to file your state tax return, depending on your state and income.
  • Choose direct deposit: Direct deposit is the fastest and safest way to receive your tax refund, as it eliminates the risk of lost, stolen, or undeliverable checks. You can choose direct deposit when you file your tax return, and provide your bank account information. You can also split your refund among up to three different accounts, such as checking, savings, or retirement accounts, using the Form 8888.
  • Check your tax return for errors: Before you submit your tax return, you should check it carefully for any errors or mistakes, such as incorrect or missing information, wrong calculations, or typos. Errors can cause delays in processing your refund, or even result in a smaller or larger refund than you expected. You can use the Tax Withholding Estimator on the IRS website to check if you have the right amount of tax withheld from your income, and adjust it if needed.
  • Track your refund status regularly: You should track your refund status regularly, using the online tools or websites mentioned above, to get the latest updates and information. You should also keep a copy of your tax return and your refund confirmation number, in case you need to contact the IRS or your state tax authority about your refund. If you notice any issues or discrepancies with your refund, you should report them as soon as possible.

We hope this blog post has helped you understand how to check the status of your tax refund online, and how to get your refund faster and safer. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and happy tax season! 😊