The Reference Section

A collection of wealth improvement articles


Where's My Refund?

The popular “Where’s My Refund” feature on the IRS web site (www.irs.gov) allows taxpayers to see the status of their refund after filing their income tax return.

What You Should Know

  1. Refunds of e-filed returns usually take 10 to 21 days to process. Paper returns take longer than e-filed returns. The IRS states that 90% of refunds are processed within this 21 day time period.
  2. Original refund processing projections can change. This can be due to processing backlogs, or errors in your tax return.
  3. Sometimes a delay is a good thing. The IRS has acknowledged there is a huge increase in identity fraud as thieves try to steal tax withholdings. The IRS is using their data match programs to catch as much of this illegal activity as possible. This means the IRS will often intentionally slow down your refund while it runs your tax return through new fraud safety measures.

Using "Where's My Refund"

In the meantime, if you wish to check on the status of your refund this is what you should know:

Log on to: www.irs.gov and click on "I'm Waiting for my Refund."

When to check:

  • 24 hours after an e-filed tax return confirmation (usually within 2 days of e-filing)
  • 4 weeks after a mailed tax return is sent

What you need to provide:

  • Social Security number
  • Filing Status
  • EXACT refund amount

Remember, the information provided to you by the IRS is not a guarantee of payment. So please fight the urge to spend your refund before you receive it. Unfortunately, no amount of calling or checking will change the speed of returning your money. With 140 million tax returns processed each year, sometimes all you can do is wait.