Tax Tip: Use “Where’s My Refund?” To Track Your Money

You’ve probably done your taxes by now (or put them off, or evaded them). If you’re lucky enough to get a tax refund this year, the IRS has a neat website called Where’s My Refund? that lets you check your refund status online. Simply fill out this online form, and you’ll get information in as few as 72 hours.

Because using Where’s My Refund? is by far the easiest way to track your tax refund that we’ve ever seen, we wanted to share some of the key components of it with you. Here are the main components of the program (from the IRS’ good fact sheet):

What is it? Where’s My Refund? or ¿Dónde está mi reembolso? are interactive tools on IRS.gov and the fastest, easiest way to get information about your federal income tax refund. Whether you split your refund among several accounts, opted for direct deposit into one account, used part of your refund to buy U.S. savings bonds or asked the IRS to mail you a check, Where’s My Refund? and ¿Dónde está mi reembolso? give you online access to your refund information nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When will you know your refund status? If you e-file, you can get refund information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you file a paper return, refund information will generally be available three to four weeks after mailing your return.

What do you need to check your refund status?
When checking the status of your refund, have your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter:

• Your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
• Your filing status which will be Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er)
• Exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your tax return

What will Where’s My Refund? tell you? Once you enter your personal information, you could get several responses, including:

• Acknowledgement that your return was received and is in processing.
• The mailing date or direct deposit date of your refund.
• Notice that the IRS could not deliver your refund due to an incorrect address. In this instance, you may be able to change or correct your address online using Where’s My Refund?.
• Where’s My Refund? also includes links to customized information based on your specific situation. The links guide you through the steps to resolve any issues affecting your refund. For example, if you do not get the refund within 28 days from the original IRS mailing date shown on Where’s My Refund?, you may be able to start a refund trace.

When do you get your refund? Refund checks are normally sent out weekly on Fridays. If you check the status of your refund and are not given the date it will be issued, please wait until the next week before checking back.

Note that the IRS will never send you an email asking for personal information. If you receive an email from the IRS asking for personal information, it’s probably a scam. Do not reply to it.

Also not that the Where’s My Refund? site has previously had outages. Don’t be surprised if you run into delays.