Where’s My Refund tool makes it easy to track the status of a federal tax return

IRS Tax Tip 2024-23, March 28, 2024

Taxpayers can check the status of their refund easily and conveniently with the IRS Where's My Refund tool at IRS.gov/refunds.

Refund status is available within 24 hours after the taxpayer e-filed their current year return. The tool also gives the taxpayer a personalized refund date after the IRS processes the return and approves the refund.

Where’s My Refund tool updates

Recent updates to the tool mean fewer taxpayers will need to call the IRS. These include:

  • Messages with detailed refund status in plain language.
  • Notifications that tell taxpayers whether the IRS needs additional information.

How to get started with Where's My Refund

To use the tool, taxpayers need their:

  • Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number.
  • Filing status.
  • Exact amount of the refund claimed on their tax return.

Status of refunds

The tool shows three statuses:

  • Return received.
  • Refund approved.
  • Refund sent.

When the status changes to "refund approved," the IRS is preparing to send the refund, either as a direct deposit to the taxpayer's bank account or directly to the taxpayer by a check in the mail to the address on their tax return.

When to check for status changes

Taxpayers don't need to check their refund status more than once a day. The IRS updates Where's My Refund overnight in most cases. Calling the IRS won't speed up a tax refund. The information available on Where's My Refund is the same information available to IRS telephone assistors. Taxpayers should allow time for their bank or credit union to post the refund to their account or for it to arrive in the mail.

Timing of refunds

The IRS issues most refunds in fewer than 21 days. Some tax returns require more time to review, and this can delay a refund. It takes longer to process a return if:

The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if more information is needed to process a return.

Refund less than expected

If a taxpayer refund isn't what they expected, it may be due to changes made by the IRS. These changes could include corrections to Child Tax Credit or EITC amounts or an offset from all or part of the refund amount to pay past-due tax or debts. More information about reduced refunds is available on IRS.gov.

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