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.
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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.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.