Waiting for your tax refund to find its way to your mailbox or your bank account can be difficult if you are tight on cash and really need the money, or even if you are just looking forward to spending it. You want to know when you can realistically expect to receive it. The IRS has an online tool that makes it easy to check the status of your refund. There is also a procedure to track down missing refunds if your refund does not arrive within the expected time frame.
The “Where’s My Refund?” Online Tool
The IRS indicates that it will pay most refunds within three weeks if you choose direct deposit and have filed your tax return electronically. Refunds can take six to eight weeks if you file a paper return. Where’s My Refund? on the IRS website to check the status of your refund. The tool is updated every 24 hours. You will need to have some information on hand:
- Your Social Security number or Employer Identification Number as it appears on your tax return
- The filing status you claimed on your return: single, head of household, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or qualifying widow(er)
- The exact refund amount as shown on your tax return
If your refund is approved, you should see an estimated date for deposit into your bank account. There should also be a separate date for when you should contact your bank if you have not received your refund by then.
When is My Refund Available?
Where’s My Refund? is available almost all of the time. However, our system is not available every Monday, early, from 12 a.m. (Midnight) to 3 a.m. Eastern Time.
IRS Refund Trace feature is not available during the following times (Eastern Time):
- Sunday: 12 a.m. (Midnight) to 7 p.m.
- Monday: 12 a.m. (Midnight) to 6 a.m.
- Tuesday: 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.
- Wednesday: 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.
- Thursday: 3:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.
- Friday: 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.
- Saturday: 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to Midnight
- Also, occasionally our system may be unavailable on Sundays between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Eastern Time.
The IRS2Go mobile app
You can access the Where’s My Refund? from your laptop or desktop computer, or you can use IRS2Go if you prefer to use your mobile device. This app is available for free download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. You can use it to:
- Check the status of your refund
- Make a payment if you owe tax
- Get free tax advice
- Retrieve security codes for certain online services provided by the IRS
How to Check on Your State Tax Refund
Each state uses a slightly different system for taxpayers to check the status of their tax refund. Looking for information on your state tax refund? Visit our Where Is My State Tax Refund? page.