IR-2003-14, Feb. 10, 2003
WASHINGTON – With the peak period for tax refunds approaching this month, the Internal Revenue Service encouraged people to try a new Internet-based service that provides a quick, easy and safe way to check the status of their refund. The service is called “Where’s My Refund?” and it’s available on the IRS Web site.
This is the first tax-filing season that the 99 million taxpayers who get refunds can use a Web-based service to check on their refunds. Through Feb. 5, more than a million taxpayers have already used the service, an average of 50,000 a day. Those numbers will grow because mid-February marks the peak period for issuing refunds.
“There’s no better way to check on your refund than visiting IRS.gov,” Acting IRS Commissioner Bob Wenzel said. “Using IRS.gov gets you the information you need whenever you want it.”
Taxpayers using the IRS.gov feature also help free up IRS toll-free help numbers to deal with other tax questions. Checking on refunds ranks as the most frequent question the IRS gets through its phone system.
“With ‘Where’s My Refund?’ taxpayers get the information they need quickly, efficiently and safely,” Wenzel said. “It’s a landmark development for tax administration as we continue to modernize our systems to give America’s taxpayers the type of services they deserve.”
Simple online instructions guide taxpayers through a process that checks the status of their refund after they provide identifying information shown on their tax return. Once the information is processed, results can include one of several responses, including:
- That a return was received and is in processing;
- The mailing date or direct deposit date of the taxpayer’s refund; or
- Whether a refund has been returned to the IRS because it could not be delivered.
The results also include links to customized information that is based on the taxpayer’s specific situation. The links guide taxpayers through the next steps needed to resolve any issues that may be affecting their refund.
The “Where’s My Refund?” service meets stringent IRS security and privacy certifications. Taxpayers enter identifying information that includes their Social Security Number, filing status and the exact amount of their refund, using both dollars and cents.
The information must be entered exactly as it appears on the tax return filed with the IRS, especially the expected refund amount. The exact information verifies that the person is authorized to access that account and avoids an unsuccessful response.
“Where’s My Refund?” is accessible to visually impaired taxpayers with the Job Access with Speech (JAWS) screen reader used with a Braille display and is compatible with different JAWS modes.
Taxpayers without Web access can get refund information by calling the automated refund service at 1-800-829-4477 or by using the new IRS refund hotline at 1-800-829-1954.