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You can find out your IRS refund status in just five minutes with these easy steps.

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

With the backlog in IRS staffing, many people are turning to the internet to check the status of their refunds or returns. We hope this article is helpful.

Just submitted my return. How can I find out if I received a tax refund?

The IRS has a tool called Where's My Refund? that allows you to check the status of your tax refund online. In order to login to the tool, you will need three pieces of information:

  1. Enter your Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number

  2. "Single,” "Married Filing Joint Return,” “Married Filing Separate Return,” “Head of Household," or “Qualifying Widow(er)"—these are your filing status options (found at the top of Form 1040).

  3. Enter how much you're getting back (or owe) is on line 35a of Form 1040.

When will I know whether my return was accepted?

When you e-file, you should be able to check the status of your return within 24 hours after filing. If you file a paper return, the status of your tax return should take roughly four weeks to appear in the IRS's system.

What happens once the IRS receives my return?

Once the IRS receives your tax return, they will start processing it. Where's My Refund will show you one of three statuses: "Return Received," "Refund Approved" and "Refund Sent."

Here's what each of them means:

Step 1: Return Received

This means that the IRS has received your tax return, and that it’s currently being processed.

Here’s what the Where’s My Refund? tool looks like once the IRS receives your return:

Step 2: refund is approved and you will receive the money soon.

The IRS has accepted and processed your return. The IRS receives your return around three weeks after you send it (21 days) . nOnce the IRS processes your return, you'll be notified of an anticipated date when you'll receive your money, such as:

Step 3 have been sent from the IRS to your financial institution or by mail. (You can check the date that your refund was sent through Where's My Refund?) Banks may take anywhere from one to five days to deposit funds into accounts, and if you requested a paper check, it could several weeks for it arrive via mail.

Isn't it possible that a refresh might resolve the issue?

No. The IRS updates their system once a day, usually at night, so there’s no need to check Where’s My Return? multiple times a day.

Also keep in mind that the IRS takes the Where’s My Refund? tool offline every Monday from midnight to 3:00 am Eastern Time for routine maintenance.

When will I get my money back? When should I anticipate having it returned to me?

At the moment, 90% of electronic filers receive their refund less than 3 weeks after the IRS has received their return.

While that might sound impressive, it's not a guarantee by any means. The IRS doesn't have a set time limit for when they'll send your refund.

Even if you e-filed your tax return on time and had no issues, and even if it took 21 days for you to get your refund in prior years, keep in mind that your return might still need further review. Be patient; don't expect to receive your money by a certain calendar date. If you mail a physical tax return, expect your payment to arrive within six weeks after the IRS receives it. (But again, same rules about patience apply.)

Will calling the IRS speed up my tax refund?

Unfortunately, no. IRS phone representatives can only research the status of your refund 21 days after you file electronically, or six weeks after you mail your paper return. If it's been less than that time frame since you filed or mailed your taxes, don't call about refunds just yet- even if the Where's My Refund tool directs you to do so. The best thing to do in this case is wait until more time has passed; if it’s been more than 21 days (or six months, if you mailed your return), call the toll-free IRS refund line at +1 (800) 829 1954.

If you paper filed your return, please allow them up to 6 months as of now. They are extremely short staffed.

If I filed an amended tax return, how long will it take for the IRS to process my claim?

It can take up to three weeks for an amended return to show up in the system, and processing can take 20 weeks or longer. You can track the status of your amended tax return (and refund) via the aptly-titled “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool: just like with the regular “Where’s My Return?” tool, your amended return will go through three stages while it's being processed.

"Received" means we have received your amended return, and it is currently being processed.

"The IRS has made an adjustment to your account." (This will result in a refund, a balance owing, or no tax change.) The IRS has processed your return and is sending you all of the information related to its processing.

If more than three weeks have passed since you mailed your amended return to the IRS and it still hasn't shown up in their system, give them a call at +1 (866) 464 2050 so that they can help resolve the issue.

What if I can't get online?

If you're worried about your refund, the IRS has a specific Refund Hotline that you can call at 1-800-829-1954. When you make the call, have your Social Security number or Taxpayer Identification Number, filing status and exact refund amount ready to give to the operator. checking on the status of your state tax refunds is easy these days since most states offer an online portal where you can check it yourself. individual links for each state's online tax portals are provided below:

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