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

Find out exactly when to expect your tax refund.

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 2019 IRS refund schedule, tax year 2018 is similar to 2017. 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.

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 income tax 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 mid-February.

Find Out: How the Government Shutdown Could Impact When You Get Your Refund

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 IRS 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 enables you to check your refund status using a mobile device. When you check your IRS2Go refund status, it might say your IRS2Go “refund is being processed.”

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

Use this 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.

Here’s how to check your tax refund status for your state:

The sooner you file, the sooner you’ll get your refund — as long as you don’t trigger a tax audit. Filing early also helps prevent fraudsters from stealing your return, so there’s plenty of reason to file your taxes sooner than later.

More on Taxes

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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street’s investment community in New York City.