Don’t Let Tax Season Get the
Best of You


(The following is based on information in IRS Tax Tip 2010-39)

If you are expecting a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service, these are seven things you should know about checking the status of your refund once you have filed your federal tax return.

1. Online Access to Refund Information

Where’s My Refund? and Donde esta mi reembolso? are interactive tools on the IRS website. These tools are the easiest way to get information about your federal income tax refund. Whether you opted for direct deposit into one account, split your refund among several accounts, used part of your refund to buy U.S. savings bonds, or asked the IRS to mail you a check, Where’s My Refund? tools will give you online access to your refund information nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is quick, easy, and secure.

2. When to Check Refund Status

If you e-file, you can get refund information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you file a paper return, refund information will generally be available three to four weeks after mailing your return.

3. What You Need to Check Refund Status

When checking the status of your refund, have your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter:

  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Your filing status: Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er)
  • Exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your tax return

4. What the Online Tool Will Tell You

Once you enter your personal information, you could get several responses, including:

  • Acknowledgement that your return was received and is in processing.
  • The mailing date or direct deposit date of your refund.
  • Notice that the IRS could not deliver your refund due to an incorrect address. In this instance, you may be able to change or correct your address online using Where’s My Refund?.

5. Customized Information

Where’s My Refund? also includes links to customized information based on your specific situation. The links will guide you through all necessary steps to resolve any issues affecting your refund. For example, if you did not get your refund within 28 days from the original IRS mailing date shown on Where’s My Refund?, you may be able to start a refund trace.

6. Alternate Access

If you do not have internet access, you can check the status of your refund in English or Spanish by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954 or the IRS TeleTax System at 800-829-4477. When calling, you must provide your or your spouse’s SSN, filing status, and the exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your return. Where’s My Refund? is also accessible to visually impaired taxpayers who use the Job Access with Speech screen reader used with a Braille display and is compatible with different JAWS modes.