When to expect your IRS tax refund and how to track the status of your money

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Delays can be frustrating for those who plan to use their refunds to pay bills or for daily expenses.

Angela Lang / CNET

Still no tax refund? You’re not alone. The IRS experiences long processing times for a number of reasons, including the manual processing of millions of tax returns. Unfortunately, this means that your refund may take a few months to arrive. The agency is also busy weekly batch sending stimulus payments and recalculate taxes paid on unemployment benefits, since those who are eligible for unemployment reimbursements may get them soon.

So how do you check the status of your tax refund online? With two IRS tools, you can see if there is a problem with your refund or if it is in progress. (You can also call the IRS for help, but that’s pretty uncertain.) Plus, we’ll tell you what it means if you received a direct deposit titled “IRS TREAS 310”.

There are also ways to Track your third dunning check if it hasn’t happened. Or you might want to check if the government is keeping the arrears of wages that you must claim. If you have kids, here’s how to calculate how much money you could get through the expansion child tax credit payments this year, which are scheduled to begin July 15. We update this story regularly.

Why are there so many tax refund delays this year?

Due to the pandemic, IRS operated at limited capacity in 2020, which strained his ability to process tax returns and send stimulus checks. The IRS is open again and processes mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence, the agency said, but the pandemic continues to cause delays in some services.

The IRS said it currently issues most refunds in less than 21 days, but some take longer, including for paper tax returns sent by post. The IRS said it also takes more than 21 days to issue refunds for certain 2020 tax returns that require review, such as determining recovery rebate credit the amounts of the first and second stimulus checks or the calculation of the earned income tax credit and additional amounts of the child tax credit.

Here is a list of the reasons why your refund may be delayed:

  • Your tax return contains errors.
  • It is incomplete.
  • Your refund has been affected by identity theft or fraud.
  • You claimed the working income tax credit or the additional child tax credit.
  • Your return requires further consideration.
  • Your return includes Form 8379, injured spouse’s allowance – could take 14 weeks to process.

Check the status of your tax refund online, here’s how

To check the status of your income tax refund using the IRS trackers, you need several things on hand: your social security number or your individual tax number, your reporting status – single, married or head of household – and the amount of your refund in whole dollars, which you can find it on your tax return. Also, make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before trying to track your refund.

Using the IRS tool Where is my refund, enter your SSN or ITIN, your deposit status, and the exact amount of your refund, then tap Submit. If you have entered your information correctly, you will be redirected to a page showing the status of your refund. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all of the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, as well as whether you filed electronically or on paper.

The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks your tax refund status. The IRS updates this tool’s data overnight, so if you don’t see a change in status after 24 hours or more, check back the next day.


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What do the different messages from the IRS mean about your tax refund

The two IRS tools (online and mobile app) will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed your refund amount, if you have one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank by direct deposit or as a paper check in your mailbox. (Here’s how change the address on file if you have moved.)

Why you might get an IRS 310 direct deposit

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see IRS VERY 310 for the operation. The 310 identifies the transaction as IRS tax refund. This would also apply to those who receive an automatic adjustment on their tax return or a refund due to the new tax-exempt unemployment benefit legislation. You can also see TAX REF in the description field for a refund.

If you see a 449 instead, it means your repayment has been cleared for past due debt.

How to track unemployment tax refunds?

Those who received unemployment benefits in 2020 and filed their income tax returns earlier started receiving additional tax refunds from the IRS. Under the new rules of American rescue plan Act of 2021, millions of people who paid taxes on unemployment benefits could be eligible for a large refund.

However, it may not be possible to track the status of this refund using the online tools above. To find out when the IRS processed your refund and for what amount, we recommend that you locate your transcript by login to your account and view the transactions listed there. We explain how to do it here.

How long will you have to wait for your tax refund?

The IRS typically issues tax refunds within three weeks, but some taxpayers wait longer than a month to receive their payments. If there are any errors, it may take longer for the agency to process and issue your tax refund. The same goes for people who have applied for a tax credit on labor income or child tax credit. (Here is who is eligible for the child tax credit.)

The date you get your tax refund also depends on how you filed your return. For example, with refunds in your bank account by direct deposit, it may take an additional five days for your bank to send the money to your account. This means that if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to mail it, you can wait a total of 26 days to receive your money.

If you mailed your tax return, the IRS says it may take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. This is where tracking your refund comes in handy.

Can you call the IRS with questions?

Although you can call the IRS to verify your status, the agency live phone support is extremely limited at this time, so you can wait a while before speaking to a representative. Too, the IRS says you should only call if it has been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where is my refund the tool tells you to contact the IRS. Here is the number to call: 800-829-1040.

For more information on your 2020 taxes, here is how to claim the missing stimulus money on your taxes and know everything about third dunning check.



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