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 2018 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.
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.
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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.
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 how to to check your state refund status:
- Alaska — residents not required to file state tax return
- Nevada — residents not required to file a state tax return
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington — residents not required to file a state tax return
- West Virginia
- Wyoming — state does not levy a corporate or personal income tax
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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.