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How to Check Your Tax Refund Status

Updated for Tax Year 2016


OVERVIEW

The IRS has made it easy to check the status of your income tax return online with their "Where's My Refund" page.


One hundred dollar bills

If you are anxiously awaiting your refund check to arrive or have it deposited into your checking account, there’s no reason for it to remain a mystery. The IRS has an online tool called “Where’s My Refund?” that allows you to check the status of your refund. After providing some personal information, you can find out when it will arrive.

TurboTax also has a Where's My Refund Tracking guide that explains each step of the efiling process and how to check the status of your federal tax refund. 

Checking your tax refund status online

Step 1 - Wait

Wait at least three days after e-filing your tax return before checking a refund status. When you e-file your tax return to the IRS, it needs approximately three days to update your information on the website.

If you e-filed your tax return using TurboTax, you can check your e-file status online, to ensure it was accepted by the IRS. You'll also receive an e-mail confirmation directly from the IRS.

However, if you mail a paper copy of your tax return, the IRS recommends that you wait three weeks before you begin checking your refund status. Most taxpayers who e-file will receive their tax refund sooner.

Step 2 - Obtain a copy of your tax return

Before you sit down to check your refund status, the IRS requires that you have some of the information from your tax return. If you printed a copy of your tax return, grab it – you’ll need the following information from it:

  • The Social Security number that you entered at the top of your tax return
  • The filing status you chose, which you can locate in the top portion of the first page to your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ
  • The exact amount of your tax refund. You can find this at the end of your tax return

Step 3 - Go to the "Where’s My Refund?" page on the IRS website

When you access the "Where's My Refund?" tool, you will see three separate boxes to enter your filing status, refund amount and Social Security number. When you finish entering this information, hit "Submit" at the bottom of the page to see the status of your refund.

Other ways to check your tax refund status

If you don’t have access to the Internet or a computer, you can call the IRS at 800-829-1954 to obtain the status of your refund. You will need the same three pieces of information as those who use the online tool, so be sure you also have a copy of your tax return available.

TurboTax also has a Where's My Refund Tracking step-by-step guide that will show you how to find the status of your IRS or state tax refund. Use TurboTax, IRS, and state resources to track your tax refund, check return status, and learn about common delays.

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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


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