Where is my tax refund? Track your income tax return to see where your money is
is soon — less than two weeks away — on May 17. If you’ve already filed your tax return and have not received your refund, you’re probably wondering where your money is. (If you’ve not filed yet, you’ll want to either or .) To see the status of your return and any refund, you can track your money down with two IRS refund-status tools.
The two IRS trackers will show you if the IRS has received your tax return — whether you filed online or sent a paper return — if the agency is processing it and when your refund was sent out. The IRS said because of the pandemic, it’s taking longer than normal to process paper returns this tax season. You can use refund-status tools from the IRS if you claimed missing stimulus money as aon your 2020 taxes. If your is still a no-show, the agency has a tracker app for you to of that, too.
We’ll tell you how to use these tools to track down your refund and estimate when it’ll arrive. Also, here’s what we know about, and a possible . If you received unemployment benefits in 2020, you could and get extra money with your refund. If you have kids, you’ll want to know about payments, including you could get. Plus, you may with the FCC. This story was recently updated.
Track the status of your 2020 income tax refund with an IRS app
To track the status of your tax refund, you need several things on hand: Your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status — single, married or head of household — and your refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return. Also, make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before you try tracking your refund.
Using the IRS tool Where’s My Refund, enter your SSN or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Submit. If you entered your information correctly, you’ll be taken to a page that shows your refund status. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.
The IRS also has a mobile app, called IRS2Go, that checks your tax refund status. The IRS updates the data in this tool overnight, so if you don’t see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the following day.
You’ll see one of these tax return status messages
Both the IRS tools (online and mobile app) will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.
- Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
- Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if you’re owed one.
- Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check to your mailbox. (Here’s how to .)
Tax refund wait time: Yours could be delayed
The IRS usually issues tax refunds within 21 days, and many people get their refunds much sooner. However, this year, the IRS is facing delays due to a variety of complications, and some taxpayers are expected to face longer wait times to receive their payments.
If there are any errors, it might take the agency longer to process and issue your tax refund. The same goes for people who filed a claim for an earned income tax credit or the. (Here’s .)
The date you get your tax refund also depends on how you filed your return. For example, with refunds going, it could take an additional five days for your bank to post it to your account. This means if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to post it, you may be waiting a total of 26 days to get your money.
If you submitted your tax return by mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. That’s where tracking your refund comes in handy. Here are some possible dates when you could receive your refund if you file electronically, depending on when you filed.
When your tax refund could arrive, if no additional delay
|If you file or filed on this date||This is the soonest||This is the latest|
|March 1||March 8||March 22|
|April 1||April 8||April 22|
|April 15||April 22||May 6|
|May 17 (last day to file)||May 24||June 7|
|Oct. 15 (last day with extension)||Oct. 22||Nov. 5|
Several reasons your tax refund hasn’t arrived
The IRS has a list of reasons your refund could potentially be held up.
- Your tax return has errors.
- It’s incomplete.
- Your refund has been affected by identity theft or fraud.
- You filed for the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit.
- Your return needs further review.
- Your return includes Form 8379 (PDF), injured spouse allocation — this could take 14 weeks to process.
Should you call the IRS if your tax refund is late?
While you can technically call the IRS to check your status, the agency’s live phone assistance is extremely limited right now, so you may wait on hold for a while to speak to a representative. Also, the IRS says you should only call if it’s been 21 or more days since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where’s My Refund tool tells you to contact the IRS.
For more information about your, here’s and everything to know about the .