Use the “Where’s My Refund?” Tool
Posted on May 2, 2017
The IRS makes it very easy for taxpayers who are wondering when their income tax refunds will arrive. There are three ways to “get the scoop,” using a mobile app, phone or a computer:
- Go to the IRS website, IRS.gov and click on the “Where’s My Refund?” link. Instructions are simple and it only takes a few minutes to find your answer.
- Download the free IRS mobile app. on your phone to check the status. It’s called IRS2Go and is also very easy to operate.
- Those without Internet access can call 800-829-1954 anytime, to access the audio version of this tool.
Here are five facts the CPAs at TSPA want you to know about getting your refund this year:
- Gather Basic Information. Taxpayers should have their Social Security number, filing status and exact refund amount when using “Where’s My Refund?”
- Timely Access. Information will normally be available within 24 hours after the IRS receives the taxpayer’s e-filed return, or four weeks for a paper return. The system updates once every 24 hours, usually overnight.
- “Where’s My Refund?” includes a tracker that displays progress through three stages: Return Received, Refund Approved and Refund Sent. When the IRS processes a tax return and approves the refund, taxpayers can see their expected refund date. Even though the IRS issues most refunds in fewer than 21 days, tax returns may need further review and take longer.
- Some Refunds are Delayed. The IRS is scrutinizing all tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) this year. Since it must hold the entire refund, not just the part related to the EITC or ACTC, you may have to wait slightly longer for your refund if you claimed either of these credits.
- The IRS is understaffed and it can be very difficult to get in touch with a real person. Taxpayers should call the IRS to check on a refund only when:
- it has been 21 days or more since they e-filed,
- more than six weeks since the return was mailed,
- the “Where’s My Refund?” tool directs them to contact IRS.
If you believe there is a problem or hold up with your taxes and you are a client of ours, please call your TSPA CPA first. We can often find out information on your behalf quickly and efficiently.
As always, all taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return. Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity.
Of course, if you are a client of TSPA, we will have that information for you.