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Where’s My Refund? How to Check on Your IRS Tax Refund

There’s nothing like knowing your tax return has been submitted and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) owes you a refund. When waiting for your refund, you’re probably asking yourself, “When will I get my tax refund?” When it comes to the IRS, things take time, including sending out tax refunds.

When will my tax return come?

If you filed your taxes electronically, you should expect to receive your tax refund quicker than if you filed it by mail. In a perfect world, you should receive your tax refund within twenty-one days of filing your return, but this isn’t a guarantee. How you filed your tax return and your choices on your return impact how quickly you’ll receive your refund. Plus, you’ll need to give your bank time to process the return if you choose the direct deposit option.

The fastest way to receive your refund is by the IRS direct deposit, but only if you filed taxes electronically.

What can slow down a tax refund?

Some factors can slow down the processing of receiving your tax refund, such as if the IRS suspects you’ve committed fraud, including identity theft, on your return or if you receive an IRS audit notice.

Tax returns with errors on them or that need special attention could take up to four months. A tax return that needs special processing includes the incorrect amount for the Recovery Rebate Credit. If you claim the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit, you can expect a delay in your return because the IRS is required to follow special rules and can’t release the credit funds before February 28th. If you applied for these credits and the IRS decides your return needs additional reviews, expect a longer delay.

The IRS may reach out to you via mail. If they do, it’s best to respond to them as quickly as possible because a delay in responding means a delay in receiving your refund.

If you find a mistake on your tax return, for example, and decide to complete an amended tax return, expect a minimum of twenty weeks for your refund to be processed. If the IRS delays your refund because of an internal issue and not because of a problem with your return, you can earn interest on your refund amount.

How to track your tax return

The IRS has different ways for you to track your refund. If you filed electronically, you could check the status of your tax return using the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool, and you’ll need to have your Social Security number or taxpayer identification number on hand, plus your filing status and the exact refund amount.

If you end up receiving a refund and it’s less than you expected, you might have made a mathematical error on your return. Or, the IRS may have deducted money from your refund due to overdue:

  • Non-tax-related debts, like student loans
  • Child support
  • Federal or state taxes

You should receive a letter from the IRS explaining either the mistake you made on the tax return or how they’ve allocated the funds and made adjustments. The letter may come after you receive your refund. It’s always best to consult your tax advisor when dealing with refunds. With FlyFin, you’ll have access to an expert team of CPAs, available 24/7 to help you with all your refund questions, including your state tax refund. Plus, A.I. will find every possible tax deduction, saving you time and money.

FlyFin CPA Team

FlyFin CPA Team

With a combined 150 years of experience, FlyFin's CPA tax team includes tax CPAs, IRS Enrolled Agents and other tax professionals, offering users the most comprehensive tax advice and preparation.

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