How to Check Your Tax Refund Status and When It Will Be Deposited

Once you’re filed your taxes, either electronically via eFile, sent off by your accountant, or mailed in the old fashioned way, you’re probably wondering when you can get your hands on that tax refund check. You can check your tax refund status 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using the Where is My Refund tool on the IRS website.

To access you tax refund information, you will need some information from the Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ you just filed. This includes your Social Security number, filing status and the exact amount of the refund. Your Social Security number is located in the upper-right corner on the first page of all 1040 forms. Your filing status is one of the boxes labeled 1 through 5 that you checked on page one of all 1040 forms. The refund amount is located on Line 74a for Form 1040, Line 43a for Form 1040A and Line 11a for Form 1040EZ.

Filing Taxes

Go to the IRS Where’s My Refund? website. Enter your Social Security number and the refund amount in the appropriate boxes and fill in the bubble next to your filing status. All the information you enter must match what the IRS has in its records, so double check all the numbers you enter to ensure there are no mistakes. If you need help identifying the requested information on your tax return, click the “shown on your tax return” link in each section for details about where to find it. Click “Submit” and you income tax refund status will appear.

You can also check your tax refund status over the phone by calling the IRS at 800-829-1954. Provide your Social Security number, filing status and the amount of the refund to hear an automated message regarding your tax refund.

If the information you provide online or over the phone does not match what is in the IRS database, you will get a message requesting you to fix any mistakes or contact the IRS for further assistance. If you are sure the information you entered is right, wait 24 hours and try again. If you still cannot check your income tax refund status, contact the IRS at the number it provides on its website.

When Your Tax Refund Will Be Mailed or Deposited

The IRS has taken some of the guesswork out of planning for when your tax refund will be mailed or deposited into your checking account. They have provided a chart, as seen below, that can assist you in determining when to expect your money. One thing to note is the cutoff time for a return to be accepted (the leftmost column) is 11 am eastern time on the day it was accepted. If it is accepted after 11 am it would be counted as accepted the following day in terms of meeting the mailing and deposit deadlines.

When you eFile your return you’ll know for sure exactly when your tax return was accepted because you will receive an email confirmation. If you mailed in your return you won’t know exactly when the IRS received and accepted it, so you’ll probably want to use their refund lookup tool mentioned above.

Tax Return AcceptedDirect Deposit SentPaper Check Mailed
Jan 17 and Jan 18, 2012January 25, 2012January 27, 2012
Jan 19 and Jan 25, 2012February 1, 2012February 3, 2012
Jan 26 and Feb 1, 2012February 8, 2012February 10, 2012
Feb 2 and Feb 8, 2012February 15, 2012February 17, 2012
Feb 9 and Feb 15, 2012February 22, 2012February 24, 2012
Feb 16 and Feb 22, 2012February 29, 2012March 2, 2012
Feb 23 and Feb 29, 2012March 7, 2012March 9, 2012
Mar 1 and Mar 7, 2012March 14, 2012March 16, 2012
Mar 8 and Mar 14, 2012March 21, 2012March 23, 2012
Mar 15 and Mar 21, 2012March 28, 2012March 30, 2012
Mar 22 and Mar 28, 2012April 4, 2012April 6, 2012
Mar 29 and Apr 4, 2012April 11, 2012April 13, 2012
Apr 5 and Apr 11, 2012April 18, 2012April 20, 2012
Apr 12 and Apr 18, 2012April 25, 2012April 27, 2012
Apr 19 and Apr 25, 2012May 2, 2012May 4, 2012
Apr 26 and May 2, 2012May 9, 2012May 11, 2012
May 3 and May 9, 2012May 16, 2012May 18, 2012
May 10 and May 16, 2012May 23, 2012May 25, 2012
May 17 and May 23, 2012May 30, 2012June 1, 2012
May 24 and May 30, 2012June 6, 2012June 8, 2012
May 31 and Jun 6, 2012June 13, 2012June 15, 2012
Jun 7 and Jun 13, 2012June 20, 2012June 22, 2012
Jun 14 and Jun 20, 2012June 27, 2012June 29, 2012
Jun 21 and Jun 27, 2012July 4, 2012July 6, 2012
Jun 28 and Jul 4, 2012July 11, 2012July 13, 2012
Jul 5 and Jul 11, 2012July 18, 2012July 20, 2012
Jul 12 and Jul 18, 2012July 25, 2012July 27, 2012
Jul 19 and Jul 25, 2012August 1, 2012August 3, 2012
Jul 26 and Aug 1, 2012August 8, 2012August 10, 2012
Aug 2 and Aug 8, 2012August 15, 2012August 17, 2012
Aug 9 and Aug 15 , 2012August 22, 2012August 24, 2012
Aug 16 and Aug 22, 2012August 29, 2012August 31, 2012
Aug 23 and Aug 29, 2012September 5, 2012September 7, 2012
Aug 30 and Sep 5, 2012September 12, 2012September 14, 2012
Sep 6 and Sep 12, 2012September 19, 2012September 21, 2012
Sep 13 and Sep 19, 2012September 26, 2012September 28, 2012
Sep 20 and Sep 26, 2012October 3, 2012October 5, 2012
Sep 27 and Oct 3, 2012October 10, 2012October 12, 2012
Oct 4 and Oct 10, 2012October 17, 2012October 19, 2012
Oct 11 and Oct 17, 2012October 24, 2012October 26, 2012

Finally, it’s probably worth reminding you that you still need to get your taxes filed before the tax deadline to avoid penalties. If it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to meet the deadline, then you should look into filing a tax extension.

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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.

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