My federal tax refund was stolen! What do I do?

by jscalona

If you think your federal tax refund has been stolen, you should act as soon as possible. Waiting can make it harder for the IRS to find it and for you to get your money. However, you should also take some time to confirm it’s actually been stolen.

Did you know that if you file a  paper return the waiting time is three or four weeks before you can even check your IRS refund status? Even filing electronically you must wait up to three days, sometimes longer. Before reporting your refund stolen, you should check your federal refund status.

Checking Your Refund Status

To check your IRS refund status, head over to the IRS’ website. There’s a link on the main page called Where’s My Refund? This is where you go if you want to check your federal refund status.

Make sure you have your tax form handy, as you’ll need some information from it such as your Social Security Number. Most importantly, you’ll need the EXACT amount you expect to receive as a tax refund.

If you’d rather call and enter the information into the phone system, the phone number is 1-800-829-4477. Either way, you can check your federal refund status fairly easily.

It’s Been Stolen!

If checking your IRS refund status reports that your refund has been issued and received, then you should act fast. Call the 1-800 number above so you can file for a replacement check. You’ll need all the information above, Social Security Number and exact amount of the refund, to do this.

Generally, you must wait 28 days from the date the IRS mailed your check to file a claim. If it’s obvious your check has been stolen, lost, or destroyed, then don’t hesitate to call. Please make sure to check your federal refund status first as there just might be a delay on your check.