How to Check the Status of Your Tax Return

By Mary Richardson , last updated July 3, 2011

Checking the status of your tax return these days is easy and convenient. Gone are the days when you simply had to wait for it to arrive in the mail. It can be done using the internet, standard phone, or smartphone. Depending on which method works best for you, use these suggestions for checking your tax refund status.

Online IRS Website

Where's My Refund? is a secure online IRS tool which can be accessed 24 hours a day 7 days a week at the official IRS website http://www.irs.gov. It provides updated information about your tax refund status in both English and Spanish. Information is available within 72 hours for individuals who file electronically and get a Accepted notification from the IRS. If you did not get a notification of receipt, it's possible there was an error in submission and you should consult the necessary steps to submit again in your electronic filing tax program. Refund information is also available within 3 to 4 weeks for those individuals who mail their tax forms through the standard post.

When checking your refund status, have your latest tax return nearby. You must provide information exactly as it appears on the return. The screen will ask for specific information such as a personal identification number (social security number or taxpayer ID) and the filing status you used on the return (single, married filing jointly, among others) Finally, you must also enter the amount of refund you claimed in a whole dollar amount. For example, if your refund claim was $716.30, you should enter $716.00 in the online form. You may have problems accessing your account if you enter inaccurate information.

After entering the correct required information, the tool will indicate your status. If your return has been processed, you'll receive an estimated date that your refund will be mailed to you or deposited into your chosen account. For individuals who have divided their refund into different accounts or purchased a US Savings Bond, this information will also be reflected here.

If your return is still being processed, there will also be a notification of that. In some cases, you might receive a request for additional information. If so, follow the given instructions on the site to provide more information, or call a service number provided.

The online refund status check tool can be used by individuals who are visually impaired with access to a Speech Screen Reader with braille display.

Phone

For individuals without internet access, find out your refund status by standard phone. Call the toll free number 800-829-1954 for information in English and Spanish. Or call the IRS TeleTax System number 800-829-4477. Have your recent return handy since you'll be prompted to supply your social security number of taxpayer ID number, filing status, and the whole dollar amount specified on your filed tax return.

Smartphone

It's now also possible to inquire about your refund status by using the IRS smartphone application. The Apple Store offers a free IRS2Go App available for download. Android Marketplace offers a similar App for the Android smartphone.

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