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Where’s My Tax Refund?

Did you file before the tax deadline? If so, you may be asking yourself, “Where’s my tax refund?” In general, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will issue most tax refunds within 21 calendar days or less. This year, however, there are a number of reasons why your tax refund could take longer to arrive.

Reasons Your Tax Refund May Be Delayed

If you filed your tax return by paper and are waiting on the IRS to send a refund check, you could be waiting much longer than usual to receive your money. This is due to the backlog of work at the IRS. There are still millions of 2019 returns awaiting processing, as well as 2020 returns that will require additional review due to incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amounts.

Your tax refund could also take longer to process due to any of the following reasons:

  • Errors on your return
  • Incomplete information
  • You’re a victim of identity theft or tax fraud
  • Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation was included with your return
  • Your return needs further review

If you filed for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), this may also delay your tax refund, especially if you used your 2019 income to figure the credit amounts.

How to Check The Status of Your Tax Refund

You can check the status of your tax refund online at Where’s My Refund? on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app. Keep in mind that if you filed your tax return by mail, you must wait at least four (4) weeks to use the tool to check your status.

Before using the refund tracker tool, make sure you have the following information available:

  • Your Social Security number or ITIN
  • Filing status
  • Refund amount

Once all information is entered, your refund status should be displayed as return received, refund approved, or refund sent. If your status is refund approved and you selected direct deposit, the date your refund is being sent to your bank should also be provided. Please wait at least 5 business days after that date to check your bank account to verify the deposit. For mailed checks, it can take several weeks before the refund arrives.

If your status is still showing as return received, be sure to check back daily as the system updates nightly.

When To Contact The IRS

Do not call the IRS unless it has been more than three weeks (21 days) since you e-filed or six weeks since filing by mail. To check your tax refund status, call 800-829-1040. Keep in mind that you may be on hold for quite some time. The average wait time is 30 minutes or longer. Mondays and Tuesdays tend to have higher call volumes, so expect longer delays. You can also find more information about tax refunds by visiting the “What to Expect for Refunds This Year” page on the IRS website.