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Checking the Status of Your Refund

Notice: Historical Content

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current law, policies or procedures.

IRS Tax Tip 2011-39, February 24, 2011

If you already filed your federal tax return and are due a refund, you have several options to check on your refund. Here are eight things the IRS wants you to know about checking the status of your refund:

  1. Online Access to Refund Information Where’s My Refund? or ¿Dónde está mi reembolso? are interactive tools on http://www.irs.gov and are the fastest, easiest way to get information about your federal income tax refund. Whether you split your refund among several accounts, opted for direct deposit into one account, used part of your refund to buy U.S. Savings Bonds or asked the IRS to mail you a check, Where’s My Refund? and ¿Dónde está mi reembolso? give you online access to your refund information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s quick, easy and secure.
     
  2. When to Check Refund Status. If you e-file, you can get refund information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you file a paper return, refund information will generally be available three to four weeks after mailing your return.
     
  3. What You Need to Check Refund Status. When checking the status of your refund, have your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter:
     
    • Your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
    • Your filing status which will be Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er).
    • Exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your tax return.
       
  4. What the Online Tool Will Tell You. Once you enter your personal information, you could get several responses, including:
     
    • Acknowledgement that your return was received and is in processing.
    • The mailing date or direct deposit date of your refund.
    • Notice that the IRS could not deliver your refund due to an incorrect address. In this instance, you may be able to change or correct your address online using Where’s My Refund?
       
  5. Customized Information. Where’s My Refund? also includes links to customized information based on your specific situation. The links guide you through the steps to resolve any issues affecting your refund.  For example, if you do not get the refund within 28 days from the original IRS mailing date shown on Where’s My Refund?, you may be able to start a refund trace.
     
  6. Visually Impaired Taxpayers. Where’s My Refund? is also accessible to visually impaired taxpayers who use the Job Access with Speech screen reader used with a Braille display and is compatible with different JAWS modes.
     
  7. Toll-free Number. If you do not have internet access, you can check the status of your refund in English or Spanish by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954 or the IRS TeleTax System at 800-829-4477. When calling, you must provide your or your spouse’s Social Security number, filing status and the exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your return.
     
  8. IRS2Go. This is the IRS’ first smartphone application that lets taxpayers check on the status of their tax refund. Apple users can download the free IRS2Go application by visiting the Apple App Store. Android users can visit the Android Marketplace to download the free IRS2Go app.

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