‘Where’s My Refund’ and Other Ways to Check Your IRS Refund Status

Check your refund status for state and federal taxes.

Most tax refunds are issued within 21 days, according to the Internal Revenue Service. But if you want to verify your tax return was received and is being processed — and find out when you’ll get your money — there are ways you can check. As for the IRS refund schedule, tax year 2017 is similar to 2016. Here’s what to expect if you filed early or on time and are waiting for an IRS refund, as well as how to get your tax refund sooner.

When Will I Get My Tax Refund?

Taxpayers getting an IRS refund should expect to wait between six weeks and two months from the time the IRS receives the return if it was sent in by mail. You can speed up the process, however, by making sure your forms are filled out correctly. Errors cause delays, so make absolutely certain your information is accurate and all of your data matches your W-2s, W-9s or other employer-issued documents.

If you file electronically, your return should arrive within three weeks or sooner, if there are no errors. If you set up direct deposit instead of opting for a check, then your money can arrive even faster. A state tax refund generally follows the same rules and timeline, but processing times can vary by state.

Related: 20 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund

How to Check Your IRS Refund Status

The IRS recommends waiting at least four weeks before you check the status of your refund if you mailed your return, and 24 hours if you filed electronically. But, if you received the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit, the IRS is required to hold your refund until at least Feb. 15, 2018.

Use the IRS Online Tool

To check the status of your federal refund, use the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool on the IRS.gov website. You’ll need to provide your filing status, Social Security number and exact refund amount as it appears on your return.

When you enter the information and hit “submit,” you’ll see your specific refund date. If you don’t see your refund date and 21 days have passed since you filed electronically or six weeks have passed since you mailed a return, contact the IRS. If there’s a problem with your refund, the Where’s My Refund? tool will direct you to call the IRS. You can find your amended return refund status by using the same tool.

Watch Out: 7 Worst Things to Do With Your Tax Refund

Download the IRS2Go App

If you don’t want to use the IRS website, download the free, official IRS mobile app called IRS2Go. The tool, which is usually updated overnight, enables you to check your refund status using a mobile device.

You can also use the app to find tax preparation assistance, make payments and sign up for useful tax tips. The app is available for Amazon, Android and iOS devices, and the IRS promises your information will be safe and secure.

How to Check Your State Tax Refund Status

If you’re wondering where your state refund is, you can check on your state refund status yourself. Much like your federal refund, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, filing status and the exact dollar amount of your refund. Note that the way you filed your return and the way you choose to receive your refund affect how long you’ll wait.

See: 7 States With No Income Tax

Here is a list of each state’s direct refund information page, or if one does not exist, a link to the state’s department of taxation or revenue, where you can also find contact information by phone.

How to Get Your Tax Return Faster

Getting a refund can be the best part of tax season for many taxpayers. Delays, however, can be frustrating. Help streamline your return’s processing by making sure the information on your tax forms is accurate, waiting the appropriate amount of time before you inquire about your refund, and having your information ready when you check on your return’s status.

Up Next: 50 Tax Write-Offs You Don’t Know About

  • agamalu69

    I filed 1/29/13 and was ‘accepted’ (via email trubotax) 1/30/13. IRS WMR states my refund has been ‘received’ since then. It is now 2/5/13 and it still has not moved on the bar. Friends of mines filed the same way the same day and have already moved up to the ‘approved’ bar with a deposit date since 2/3/13. I have read on Yahoo that many people are experiencing the same problem, some are saying the WMR tool is not dependable due to over use by millions of tax payers. Is this true?

  • Matt

    Same thing I think it has something to do with filling on the 29th

  • Vince G.

    I filed 2/14/13 and still waiting. It’s already 3/26/13

  • albert smith

    my refund was sent feb 20 i still dont have it

  • val

    Has anyone received a direct deposit date for February 2014

  • PHIL

    I FILED ON 1/26/15 AND I CHECK ON MY REFUND THE RED LINE DIDNOT MOVE THEN 21 DAYS LATER I CHECK ON IT THEN I START TO CALL THE IRS THAY GAVE ME MORE A DATE WHEN CAME THE DATE IT GOT NOTHING I CALL . THAY SEAD I GET A LETTER FROM 10 DAY LATER I GOT THE LETTER IT SAID I NEED A 1095A FORM THEY TOLD ME TO SEND TO FAX IT TO THEM WE DID I AND STILL NO ANSER. I START TO CALL THE IRS SPENT ABOUT 5 HOUR ON THE PHONE THEN I GOT WORD THEY CANT FINE IT I CALL AGENT I GOT A NICE PERSON ON THE PHONE HE CHECK ON IT GIVE 10 MIN. HE CAME BACK ON THE PHONE HE SAID THEY CODNOT FINE MY FAX SO HE GAVE ME A PHONE NUMBER IT WENT TO ST LOUS FAX AND HE SAID TO WAIT 4 MORE WEEK IT BEN 40 DAY STILL NO NOTHING

  • JP

    If you haven’t received your refund and have received a letter from IRA to make an appointment, chances are someone has already claimed your refund and iRS has establish your identity so you can receive your refund. Happened to a friend and it’s messed up.