It's a great feeling to know there's a state refund check with your name on it. If it's been a few weeks and you still haven't received your refund check, you may want to check the status of your state tax return. You can contact most state tax agencies by phone or a web application and get an ETA for your check.
By Phone or Online
Most states allow you to check the status by phone or through a website application. For example, Illinois taxpayers can a toll-free hotline or use the Income Tax Refund Status Inquiry website application. The state of Oregon has a staff to field tax refund phone inquiries during most business hours, and operates a "Where's My Refund?" website application. The American Institute of CPAs has a comprehensive list of tax agencies for every state if you need to find the office that handles the refund.
What to Expect
Have a copy of your current year tax return on hand when you do the check. The state will want your name, address, social security number, and some pertinent tax information like your adjusted gross income for the tax year. Your state agency will be able to tell you if they've received your return information and give you an estimated date for the refund.
It won't do any good to check on the status a day or two after you file. In most states, taxpayers get their refunds within one to two weeks. You may wait a few days longer if you filed by mail. For example, California estimates that taxpayers who e-file get their refund checks within seven to 10 days compared to eight to 12 for those who mail the information. If you chose to have it go to direct deposit information, the wait should be cut by at least two days..
To avoid refund delays, do a line-by-line review of the tax return. Some of the most common mistakes that cause a delay are reporting the wrong social security number, math errors, and withholdings being reported on the wrong line. .
Based in San Diego, Calif., Madison Garcia is a writer specializing in business topics. Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University.