Nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days, according to the IRS. But if you want to verify your tax return was received and is being processed — and find out when you’ll get your money — there are ways you can check. Here’s what to expect if you filed early or on time and are waiting for an IRS refund, as well as ways you can ensure its speediest delivery.
When Will I Get My Tax Refund?
Taxpayers getting an IRS refund should expect to wait between six weeks and two months from the time the IRS receives the return if it was sent it by mail. You can speed up the process, however, by making sure your forms are filled out correctly. Errors cause delays, so make absolutely sure your information is accurate and all of your data matches your W-2s, W-9s or other employer-issued documents.
If you file electronically, your return should arrive in fewer than three weeks. If you set up direct deposit instead of opting for a check, then your money can arrive even faster. A state tax refund generally follows the same rules and timeline, but processing times can vary by state.
Once you submit your taxes online, you might receive a message that says, “We have received your tax return and it is being processed.” This means the IRS has successfully received your tax return and is in the process of being evaluated.
How to Check Your IRS Refund Status
One of the most common questions during tax season are, “Where’s my federal refund?” and “When will I get my tax refund?” The IRS recommends waiting at least four weeks before you check the status of your refund if you mailed your return and 24 hours if you filed electronically. But if you received the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit, the IRS is required to hold your refund until at least Feb. 15, 2017.
Use the IRS Online Tool
To check on the status of your federal refund, use the Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS.gov website. You’ll need to provide your filing status, Social Security number and exact refund amount as it appears on your return.
When you enter the information and hit “submit,” you’ll see your specific refund date. If you don’t see your refund date and 21 days have passed since you filed electronically or six weeks have passed since you mailed a return, contact the IRS. If there’s a problem with your refund, the Where’s My Refund? tool will direct you to call the IRS.
Download the IRS2Go App
If you don’t want to use the IRS website, download the free, official IRS mobile app called IRS2Go. The tool, which is usually updated overnight, enables you to check your refund status using a mobile device.
You can also use the app to find tax preparation assistance, make payments and sign up for useful tax tips. The app is available for Amazon, Android and iOS devices, and the IRS promises your information will be safe and secure.
How to Check Your State Tax Refund Status
Taxpayers often overpay their state taxes, too. It’s fairly simple to check on the status of your state refund, much like your federal one.
If you’re wondering, “Where’s my state refund?”, contact your state’s department of taxation by phone or online. Search your state’s name and the phrase “tax refund” in a search engine to find your state’s tax department website. Many states, like California and Ohio, maintain dedicated web pages to help taxpayers get refund status information.
To check the status of your state refund, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, filing status and the exact dollar amount of your refund. Note that the way you filed your return and the way you chose to receive your refund affect how long you’ll wait.
You might also want to use a website like TurboTax, which maintains a web page called “How do I track my state refund?” The page contains links for all states that collect income tax. When you click on a link there, it leads to another TurboTax page with state-specific information on how to check on your refund, including who to call and which website to visit. You’re not required to be a TurboTax user to access this data.
How to Get Your Tax Return Faster
Getting a refund can be the best part of tax season for many taxpayers. Delays, however, can be frustrating. Help streamline your return’s processing by making sure the information on your tax forms is accurate, waiting the appropriate amount of time before you inquire about your refund, and having your information ready when you check on your return’s status.