Tax Refund Frequently Asked Questions
How quickly will I get my refund?
The majority of refunds are issued within 21 days. However, due to various reasons, including incomplete forms and missing information, the IRS may take longer than 21 days to issue your refund.
*If more information is required on your tax return, the IRS will contact you by mail.
How can I speed up the process to get my refund faster?
Unfortunately there is no way to speed up the refund process. The IRS handles thousands of tax returns a day and it is important to just be patient.
How can I get information about my refund?
The best place to get information regarding your tax Return is using the Where’s My Refund tool on the IRS website, or downloading the IRS2Go app. You should only call the IRS for information on your tax refund if it’s be more than 21 days since you filed electronically, or more than 6 weeks since you mailed in a paper return. Or if the Where’s My Refund tool instructs you to contact the IRS.
When can I start checking my refund status?
When you can check your refund status depends on how you filed. If you filed electronically, you can check your status within 24 hours of the IRS receiving your tax return. If you mailed in a paper return, you must wait 4 weeks from the date you mailed it.
How often is Where’s My Refund updated?
Where’s My Refund will only update your tax return status once per day, and usually at night.
What does it mean if my refund status is “Refund Received?”
If Where’s My Refund shows your status as “Refund Received,” then the IRS has received your return and it is currently being processed. Your personal refund date will be available, once your refund has been processed and approved.
What does it mean if my refund status is “Refund Approved?”
Where’s My Refund displays your status as “Refund Approved” once the IRS has finished processing your refund and is preparing to send it to you either by mail or direct deposit depending on which you option you selected. This status will also provide you with a date that your refund is scheduled to be sent or deposited with your bank.
What does it mean if my refund status is “Refund Sent?”
“Refund Sent” will appear as your status in Where’s My Refund when your refund has either been sent to your bank for direct deposit. For those that request a paper check, this status will appear once your check has been mailed.
Why is my refund different than the amount on the tax return I filed?
Your refund may be different than the amount reflected on the tax return you filed if you had outstanding past due amounts, including any of the following: federal tax, state income tax, state unemployment compensation debts, child support, spousal support, or certain federal non-tax debts. If this is the case, you will receive a notice from either the IRS or the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Services.
I requested a direct deposit, but it is being mailed as a paper check. Why?
Your tax refund may only be deposited into a bank account if that is under either your name, or your spouse’s name for a joint account. This may be the reason your bank rejected the direct deposit and a paper check was mailed to you. An additional reason may be that only 3 electronic refunds may be directly deposited into the same bank account.
What do I do if the refund I received is not from my tax account?
If you receive a refund that does not belong to you, bring or send it back to the IRS. Do not cash it in, or spend it in order to avoid any penalties.