Where’s My Refund? What Illinois Taxpayers Need To Know

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Many Illinois residents and businesses will be filing their state income taxes this April along with their federal returns. Those expecting a refund from the Illinois Department of Revenue may have to wait a little longer than in previous years as the state agency works to prevent identity theft and fraud while processing returns.

Here are answers to the most vital state refund questions many Illinoisans have.

Where’s My Illinois State Refund?

The Illinois Department of Revenue must process and approve the state’s annual tax returns before refunds are issued by the Illinois Comptroller’s Office. How quickly Illinois taxpayers get their refunds depends on how they chose to receive the money.

In Illinois, taxpayers have two refund options:

  • Direct deposit: Those who file their returns electronically can have their refund deposited directly into their checking or savings account. This is the quickest option, taking up to two business days after the refund is issued.
  • Paper check: Refunds will be mailed to those who choose to receive a paper check. This method is much slower and can take up to 10 business days after the refund is issued.
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Whether returns are filed electronically or in paper form, Illinois taxpayers should expect a slight delay in receiving their refunds compared to previous years as the state’s revenue department takes additional steps to avoid potential theft or fraud.

How Can I Check on the Status of My Illinois State Refund?

Taxpayers can check on the status of their refunds using simple tools offered by the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Illinois Comptroller’s Office. To find out whether the Illinois Department of Revenue has approved a refund, taxpayers can use the “Where’s My Refund?” feature on the agency’s MyTax Illinois website.

Those who have already had their refund approved by the state revenue department can check with the Illinois Comptroller’s Office for more specific information, including the status of the disbursement. This can be done by visiting the Illinois Comptroller’s website and using the “Find My Refund” feature. Illinois taxpayers can also sign up for refund alerts via text and email through this platform.

Whether it’s done through the Illinois Department of Revenue or the state’s comptroller, a taxpayer looking to these platforms to check on the status of their refund must be ready to provide their:

  • First and last name
  • Social Security number
  • Email address and phone number
  • Estimated Illinois tax refund amount
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When Can I Expect To Receive My Illinois Tax Refund?

Because filings vary, with some proving more complex than others, the Illinois Department of Revenue can’t provide a solid time frame regarding when refunds will be sent out to state residents. An effort by the state agency to curb identity theft and fraud has also slowed the refund distribution process down a bit compared to previous years.

What Could Delay My Illinois Tax Refund?

Aside from additional security measures delaying state tax refund distribution in Illinois, several other factors can prolong the refund wait time. Some of these factors include: 

  • Errors made in the return before or during the filing process
  • An excess volume of returns and refunds awaiting processing
  • Signs of fraud or identity theft


In Illinois, filing an error-free state tax return and requesting that the refund amount be deposited directly into a checking or savings account is the surest way of receiving the amount quickly. Enhanced security adopted by the Illinois Department of Revenue to detect and prevent fraud may delay the refund distribution process a bit.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Moubin Ghafoory is a freelance content writer who formerly worked for a prominent digital marketing firm. Writing is his profession and his passion, and in his off time, he studies and practices writing fiction. He lives in Northern Virginia and drinks coffee by the gallon.

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