‘Where’s My Refund?’ Tool on IRS.gov Takes Guesswork Out of When to Expect Refunds

  • Now that the filing deadline has passed, the best ways to check on their refund is the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website and the IRS2Go app.
  • The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days..
  • Ordering a tax transcript will not speed delivery of tax refunds.
  • The IRS encourages taxpayers who owe to do a Paycheck Check Up.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that one of the best ways to check on their refund is the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website and the IRS2Go app. Updated once a day, usually overnight, this useful tool gives taxpayers a projected refund issuance date as soon as it is approved.

The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, and the fastest way to get a refund is to use IRS e-file and direct deposit. Taxpayers should also know they can have their refunds divided into up to three separate accounts.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited. People are encouraged to first check the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on the IRS website and the IRS2Go app. Taxpayers can also review the IRS Services Guide which links to additional IRS online services.

Please note: Ordering a tax transcript will not speed delivery of tax refunds nor does the posting of a tax transcript to a taxpayer’s account determine the timing of a refund delivery. Calls to request transcripts for this purpose are unnecessary. Transcripts are available online and by mail at Get Transcript.

A few necessary items

To use the “Where’s My Refund?” tool, taxpayers will need to enter their Social Security number, tax filing status (single, married, head of household) and exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the return.

Taxpayers who file electronically can check “Where’s My Refund?” within 24 hours after they receive their e-file acceptance notification. The tool can tell taxpayers when their tax return has been received, when the refund is approved and the date the refund is to be issued.

Some refunds may take longer

While the IRS continues to process electronic and paper tax returns, issue refunds, and accept payments, there are delays in processing paper tax returns due to limited staffing. If a taxpayer filed a paper tax return, the return will be processed in the order in which it was received. Do not file a second tax return or call the IRS.

Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund. In some cases, a tax return may require additional review. It is also important to consider the time it takes for a financial institution to post the refund to an account or for a refund check to be delivered by mail.

Taxpayers who owe

The IRS encourages taxpayers who owe to do a Paycheck Check Up every year to ensure enough tax is withheld from their pay to avoid an unexpected tax bill.

Estimated taxes

Taxpayers with a substantial portion of their income not subject to withholding − the self-employed, investors, retirees, those with interest, dividends, capital gains, alimony and rental income − often need to pay quarterly installments of estimated tax.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that various financial transactions, especially late in the year, can often have an unexpected tax impact. Examples include year-end and holiday bonuses, stock dividends, capital gain distributions from mutual funds and stocks, bonds, virtual currency, real estate or other property sold at a profit.

Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, includes instructions to help taxpayers figure their estimated taxes. They can also visit IRS.gov/payments to pay electronically. IRS offers two free electronic payment options where taxpayers can schedule their estimated federal tax payments up to 30 days in advance with IRS Direct Pay or up to 365 days in advance with the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS).

For information see:

Tax Withholding Estimator FAQs

FAQs on the 2020 Form W-4

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Filomena Mealy

Filomena is a Relationship Manager for the Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education Branch of the Internal Revenue Service's.  Her responsibilities include developing outreach partnerships with non-tax companies, organizations and associations, such as the banking industry to educate and communicate changes in tax law, policy and procedures. She has provided content and served as a contributor to various associations and online media sources.
http://IRS.GOV

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