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What Is My Federal Tax Refund Status?

Checking your Federal tax refund status is fairly easy nowadays. In your search for your money, you have a few options available to you.

First, though, consider how long ago you submitted your income tax return. How recent was it? The IRS is often backed up during heavy traffic times, especially in April. If you sent your return in only a week or two ago, your Federal tax refund status may not be readily available. This is especially true the closer you get to the April 15th deadline.

Continue the Search

If you still need to find out information about your Federal tax refund status, then you’ll need three things. All three can be found on your tax return, so have it handy. To get an update about your Federal tax refund status, you’ll need:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your filing status
  • The EXACT whole dollar amount of your expected tax refund

Please notice that the word “exact” is being used. You’ll need the dollar number that appeared on your tax return. Anything different and you cannot find out your tax return status.

Also remember your filing status was what you selected on your tax return (Form 1040). If anything changed after you submitted that tax form, it doesn’t matter. It will only affect your taxes for your next tax return. Your filing status must match what you marked on the most recent tax return you filed in order to get your refund status.

Where to Go

You now have a few options available to find your federal tax refund. If you’re not tech-savvy and would like rather use the telephone, dial 1-800-829-1954 for the IRS Refund Hotline. Automated service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will be given an option to check on your Federal tax refund status. Simply provide the information above from your income tax return.

If you’d rather use the Internet, head to the IRS website. On the left side of the top menu bar, there is a link that says “Refunds.” Click on that link to go to the IRS Refunds main page. Here you can choose to start the search for your Federal tax refund status. Enter your personal information where prompted and click “Submit” to get your Federal tax refund status online. If the website can’t find your tax refund, it will ask you for more information (such as the approximate date you sent in your tax return). If the “Where’s My Refund” system still can’t find your return in its records, it will provide a phone number for you to call.

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The IRS has also released a smartphone application called “IRS2GO” that can be downloaded from the Apple or Android app store. Now taxpayers can use their mobile devices to check their Federal tax refund status. IRS2GO can also be used to request a tax return or account transcript. Additionally, IRS2GO will help you find free tax preparation through their network of approved volunteers.

Note that there is a waiting period before you will hear any word regarding your tax refund. If you e-filed your return and chose the Direct Deposit option, you will be able to check the status of your refund within 24 hours of e-filing. However, if you submitted your tax return via paper mail, it could be up to a few weeks until you can check on your Federal tax refund status.

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