Where is my tax refund? Use IRS tracking tools to check the status of your refund


The IRS expects delays in processing returns and issuing refunds this year.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Waiting for your tax refund? After the IRS receives your tax return, it can take more than 21 days to issue refunds if the tax agency needs to review anything on your return. Your refund could also be delayed for other reasons, as the IRS works through a backlog of repayments.

However, you don’t have to guess when your money will arrive. Using two IRS tracking tools, you can check the status of your refund and see if anything is causing a delay. We can show you how. You can also try calling the IRS live phone support for assistance, but the IRS has warned that assistance is “extremely limited” at this time. We’ll tell you how to phone the IRS, below, anyway.

We will also tell you what to do if your third stimulus control got lost – follow this payment here. You can also check if the government has back pay you need to claim. If you have dependents, here’s how to calculate how much money you could pass child tax credits. This story is updated frequently.

Is the IRS experiencing delays in processing tax returns?

Due to the pandemic, IRS operated at limited capacity in 2020, which puts a strain on 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 delay some services.

The IRS said it issues most refunds in under 21 days now, but some take longer, including paper tax returns in the mail. The IRS said it also takes more than 21 days to issue refunds for certain 2020 tax returns that require review, such as the determination Recovery rebate credit the amounts of the first and second stimulus checks or calculating the earned income tax credit and additional amounts of the child tax credit.

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How can I use the IRS tracking tools to see the status of my refund?

To check the status of your income tax refund using the IRS trackers, you need several things: your social security number or your tax ID number, your reporting status – single, married or head of household – and the amount of your refund in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return. Also make sure this has happened 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. Otherwise, you may need to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all of the information looks correct, you will need to enter the date you filed your tax returns, as well as whether you filed your return electronically or on paper.

The IRS also has a mobile app, called IRS2Go, which checks the status of your tax refund. 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.

How long will it take me to get my tax refund?

The IRS typically issues tax refunds within 21 days, and many people get their refunds much sooner. However, this year, as the IRS faces complications, some taxpayers are expected to face longer wait times to receive their payments.

If there are any errors, the agency may take longer to process and issue your tax refund. The same goes for people who have filed for an earned income tax credit 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 ongoing refunds in your bank account by direct deposit, it may take an additional five days for your bank to post 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 might be waiting a total of 26 days to get your money.

If you submitted your tax return by mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. This is where tracking your refund comes in handy. Here are some possible dates on which you might receive your refund if you have filed or plan to do so electronically.

When could your tax refund arrive, if no further delay

If you deposit or have deposited by this date

This is the earliest

It’s the last

1st of March

8 March

March 22

First of April

April 8

April 22

April 15

April 22

May 6

May 17 (last day of deposit)

May 24

June 7

October 15 (last day with extension)

22 october

November 5

What is delaying my refund?

the IRS has a list of reasons 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 earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit.
  • Your return requires further consideration.
  • Your return includes Form 8379 (PDF), Injured Spouse’s Allowance – treatment may take 14 weeks.

Will IRS customer service answer my questions about the tax refund over the phone?

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 to speak to a representative. Too, the IRS says you should only call if 21 or more days have passed since you filed your income tax returns 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 about your 2020 taxes, here is how to claim missing raise money about your taxes and everything you need to know about third stimulus control.

Help! What do these messages mean about my refund status?

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

  • 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 owe any.
  • Sent: Your refund is now sent to your bank by direct deposit or by paper check in your mailbox. (Here’s how change the address of the file if you have moved.)

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