2013 Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions
How quickly will I get my refund?
The IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 calendar days.
What is the fastest way to get information about my refund?
Use the IRS2Go mobile app or the Where’s My Refund? tool. You can start checking on the status of your tax return within 24 hours after we have received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return.
Will I see a date for my refund right away?
Where’s My Refund? will not give you a refund date right away. We must first receive your tax return and then we have to process it and approve your refund. Where’s My Refund? will give you a personalized date once your refund is approved.
How will I know if IRS received my tax return and if my refund is being processed?
Use the Where’s My Refund? tool to follow your tax return from receipt to issuance of your refund. While your tax return is being processed you can follow it through three states: Return Received, Refund Approved and Refund Sent.
When can I start checking on my refund status?
You can start checking on the status of your return within 24 hours after we have received your e-filed tax return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper tax return.
What is happening when Where’s My Refund? shows the status of my refund is: Return Received?
This means the IRS has your tax return and is processing it. Your personalized refund date will be available as soon as the IRS finishes processing your return and confirms that your refund has been approved. Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days.
How long will it take for my status to change from “Return Received” to Refund Approved?
Sometimes your status may change from “Return Received” to “Refund Approved” in just a few days, but it could take longer and a date will not be provided until your refund has been approved. However, if Where’s My Refund? shows the status of your refund is: Return Received we have received your tax return and we are processing it.
It's been longer than 21 days since the IRS received my return and I have not gotten my refund. Why?
The IRS works hard to issue refunds as quickly as possible, but some tax returns take longer to process than others for many reasons, including when a return:
- includes errors,
- is incomplete,
- needs further review,
- is impacted by identity theft or fraud,
- includes Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, which could take up to 14 weeks to process.
If the IRS needs more information to process your tax return, they will contact you by mail.
What is happening when Where’s My Refund? shows the status of my refund is: Refund Approved?
This means the IRS has processed your return and your refund has been approved. The IRS is now preparing to send your refund to your bank or directly to you in the mail if you requested a paper check.
What is happening when Where’s My Refund? shows the status of my tax return is: Refund Sent?
This means the IRS has sent your refund to your financial institution for direct deposit. It may take your financial institution 1 – 5 days to deposit the funds into your account. If you requested a paper check this means your check has been mailed. It could take several weeks for your check to arrive in the mail.
How often does Where’s My Refund? update?
Where’s My Refund? updates are made no more than once per day, usually at night.
Will Where’s My Refund? provide a refund status if I filed an amended return?
No, it does not provide information about amended tax returns. However you can check the status of your Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, using the “Where's My Amended Return?” (WMAR) online tool, and the new toll-free telephone line 866-464-2050 three weeks after you file your amended return. WMAR provides personalized, automated, and the most up-to-date information on the status of amended returns in both English and Spanish. You can check the status of a Form 1040X filed for the current year, and up to three years prior.
Will calling the IRS help me get my refund any faster?
There’s no need for you to call the IRS about your refund status unless Where’s My Refund? displays a specific message that says you should call. If we need more information to process your tax return, we will contact you by mail. Otherwise Where’s My Refund? has the most up to date information available about your refund. Use the IRS2Go mobile app or use the Where’s My Refund? tool. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What if I am counting on my refund for something important? Can I expect to receive it on time?
Be careful not to count on getting your refund by a certain date to make major purchases or pay other financial obligations. Many different factors can affect the timing of your refund after we receive it for processing. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible your tax return may require additional review and take longer. Also, if you are anticipating a refund, take into consideration the time it takes for your financial institution to post the refund to your account, or for mail delivery.