Tax Refunds: IRS Tool Now Lets You Search Past Two Years of Returns

Men hands holding a US Government Treasury check.
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According to the Internal Revenue Service, you can now track tax refunds going back two years. The IRS made an update to the Where’s My Refund? online tool to allow taxpayers to check the status of the current tax year as well as the two previous tax years.

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Before this update, the Where’s My Refund? tool would only display the status of the most recently filed tax return within the past two years. If you’re calling the refund hotline, information is only available for the 2021 tax year.

To use the Where’s My Refund? tool, you’ll need your Social Security number or ITIN, filing status and expected refund amount from the original filed tax return. The IRS says that you can also use the online tool to check the status of your tax refund within:

  • 24 hours after e-filing a 2021 tax return
  • Three or four days after e-filing a tax return from 2019 or 2020
  • Four weeks after mailing a return

The IRS continues to receive returns and send out refunds. Electronic filing is available 24/7 and taxpayers have until Oct. 17 to file a return if they requested an extension.

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“We encourage those who expect a refund, but requested an extension, to file as soon as they’re ready. We process returns on a first-in basis, so the sooner the better,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in a statement. 

“There’s really no reason to wait until October 17 if filers have the relevant information to file now. Free File is still available for extension recipients to use to prepare and file their federal tax return for free,” he added.

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Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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