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