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When is my federal tax refund considered late?

There’s no definitive answer on when exactly your federal tax refund is considered late. Quite a bit of it depends on when you sent in your return, though there are other factors to take into account.

Determining Late Federal Tax Refund Status

The earlier you file your return, the easier things will be for you regarding your federal tax refund status. Your federal tax return should arrive shortly as the backup pile will be much smaller. Most people wait until the last minute to send in their tax information. This results in delayed processing and later payments than most would like. File early, get paid early!

Another factor that affects your federal tax refund status is how you filed. Sending in your taxes through snail mail is going to take much longer than if you filed electronically. Sometimes, there can be as much as a 10 week difference! Consider filing electronically to save time and headache, not to mention expediting your refund status.

However, filing electronically doesn’t bring in your tax refund instantly. Even filing in the beginning of the year can bring a wait of a few weeks, depending on your federal tax refund status.

Find Your Refund Status

If you’re really worried that your refund is in fact late, there is a way to check your federal tax refund status.

Head to the IRS’ website and enter your information into the Where’s My Refund? form. There are a few things you’ll need to get your federal tax refund status.

–         Your tax form

–         The exact amount of your expected refund

–         Your Social Security Number

Fill out the form with this information. If you’d rather call, the number is 1-800-829-4477. Simply enter the required information in when you get to the ‘Refund Status’ option.

If you’ve waited at least 72 hours since you filed electronically, you should get an answer regarding your federal tax refund status. However, if you filed with a paper form, you must wait three or four weeks before you can check. Again, consider filing electronically, as it makes your life (and the IRS’ life) so much easier.


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