How to Check the Status of Your Tax Refund

 

If you’re expecting a big tax refund, you want it as quickly as possible. If you mail your return early in the tax season, you’ll receive your tax refund in about four to six weeks. However, if you wait and file your return close to the filing deadline, it will take about eight weeks.

To get your refund sooner, e-file your return. The status for e-filing your federal return moves along much more quickly than if you mail in your return. Once you’ve completed the federal e-filing process, the response time from the IRS varies from 2-4 days.

You can check the e-file status of your federal tax return with our online Where’s My Refund tool.

Other Ways to Check Your Federal Refund Status

You can also check the status of your tax refund by:

  • Calling the IRS TeleTax System at 800-829-4477 or the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954.
  • Going to www.irs.gov:
    1. Choose Where’s My Refund?
    2. Enter identifying info to get your federal e-file status.

Have your return on hand, since you’ll need it to answer some questions. To check on your refund, you’ll need to provide your:

  • Social Security number (SSN) or another taxpayer identification number
  • Filing status
  • Exact amount of the refund shown on the return

Why Is My Refund Less Than I Expected?

It could be for these reasons:

  • You might have made a mathematical error or some other mistake on your return.
  • The IRS might have deducted these amounts from your refund:
    • Delinquent federal or state taxes
    • Back child support
    • Past-due non-tax federal debts, like student loans

You should receive a notice explaining the mistake or any adjustments made to your refund. The notice should include explanations of deductions for prior debts. Since your refund check and the notice come from different IRS locations, you might receive the explanation after you receive the refund check.

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