During the year, your employer takes money out of your paycheck for the estimated tax bill you will owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If too much is withheld, you will receive a refund when you file your return.
Electronically filed tax returns typically have refund checks sent out within three weeks of receipt. If you file via paper, you can expect to wait about six weeks for your refund check, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS has a website to allow taxpayers to check the status of their refund called "Where's My Refund?" (See Resources). To check the status of a refund, you need to enter your Social Security number, your filing status and the amount of your refund.
You need to wait about 72 hours from the time you e-file your tax return or three weeks after mailing a paper return before checking the status of your refund.
- Internal Revenue Service: Topic 152 - Refund Information
- Internal Revenue Service: 2012 Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions
- IRS. "How to File." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
- IRS. "What to Expect for Refunds This Year." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
- IRS. "Filing Season Statistics for Week Ending December 27, 2019." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
- IRS. "Refunds." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
- IRS. "Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund." Page 1. Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
- IRS. "Get Your Refund Faster: Tell IRS to Direct Deposit Your Refund to One, Two, or Three Accounts." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
- IRS. "FAQs. What Should I Do If I Entered An Incorrect Routing or Account Number for Direct Deposit of My Refund?" Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.
Based in the Kansas City area, Mike specializes in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."