What to Know About “Where’s My Refund?”
Every year, millions of American taxpayers eagerly await their tax refund checks after filing their tax return. For many people, tax refund checks are among their most significant sources of additional income. Typical refunds fall between $2,000-$3,000 — not small sums by any means.
Fortunately, the IRS has developed an online system that allows taxpayers to monitor the status of their tax refund check. Called “Where’s My Refund?”, this helpful tool can be accessed through any standard web platform or the IRS2Go mobile application. As long as you input the correct information, you can obtain day-by-day updates regarding the status of your check.
What You Will Need
To use the system, taxpayers need three pieces of information:
- Their social security number or individual taxpayer identification number
- The exact amount of their refund
- Their filing status
If you file your tax return electronically, you can begin to access the system within 24 hours of e-filing. If you file a paper return, you can still utilize the system, but it can take up to four weeks after paper filing to begin tracking your refund.
The “Where’s My Refund?” tool provides three different status updates:
- Receipt of the return by the IRS
- Approval of the refund
- Disbursement of the refund
The “Where’s My Refund?” system refreshes every 24 hours, so checking the system more than once every day isn’t necessary.
When Should I Receive My Tax Refund Check?
In general, the IRS will transfer refund checks within 21 days of the receipt of your return. Filing electronically and setting up direct deposit can help shorten the turnaround time for receipt of your refund. For those who file a paper return, the refund can take six weeks or longer to make its way back to you.
If time is a critical factor for you, then e-filing and setting up direct deposit are absolutely essential. Receiving a paper check will take significantly longer than an electronic transfer.
Factors That Can Cause Delay
While 21 days is typical, certain factors can cause delays to your tax refund check. These include:
- Mathematical / computational errors on your return
- Incorrect bank / direct deposit information
- Claiming a large number of deductions
- Claiming a deduction of a large amount
- Filing a return via paper
These are just a few of the factors that can cause a delay. If you want to make sure that your tax refund is processed as speedily as possible, try to avoid them.