How to check your tax refund status


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers that the fastest and easiest way to check on tax refunds is by using the Where’s My Refund? tool on IRS.gov or through the IRS2Go mobile app.

This year, more than ever before, those who don’t normally have to file a tax return may wish to do so to get child-related tax credits that were expanded by the American Rescue Plan. These include the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit.

Filing electronically and using direct deposit is the safest and fastest way to file an accurate return and receive a tax refund. Taxpayers can use Where’s My Refund? to start checking their refund status within 24 hours after an e-filed return is received or four weeks after the taxpayer mails a paper return.

The tool’s tracker displays progress through three phases: Return Received, Refund Approved and Refund Sent.

Refund timing

Most tax refunds are issued within 21 days, however, some may take longer. There are several reasons this can happen:

– The return includes a claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.

– The time between the IRS issuing the refund and the bank posting it to an account may vary since many banks do not process payments on weekends or holidays.

– The return may require additional review.

– The return may include errors or be incomplete.

– The return could be affected by identity theft or fraud.

– The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if more information is needed to process a return.

Ignore refund myths

Some taxpayers mistakenly believe they can expedite their refund by ordering a tax transcript, calling the IRS or calling their tax preparer. Ordering a tax transcript will not help a taxpayer get their refund faster or find out when they’ll get their refund. The information available on Where’s My Refund? is the same information available to IRS telephone assistors.