It can be a bit frustrating when you're waiting for your IRS tax refund and you don't know whether or not the IRS has even received your tax return. Fortunately, there are several ways to find out if the IRS has processed the return and what the status of your return is. Filing your tax return electronically usually ensures speedy processing, but whether you've filed it electronically or not, you can still check on its progress with the IRS to ensure that your return has been received.
Checking Electronic Confirmation
When you file your tax return electronically, you generally receive a confirmation email within 24 to 48 hours letting you know that the return was received. This email also lets you know if the IRS has accepted your return or has rejected it due to possible errors. Errors include missing information, improperly claiming a dependent that another tax payer has claimed or issues with identity theft. Note that if your return is rejected, you will have to submit it again with corrected information for it to be processed.
Using the Online IRS Tools
To check your IRS refund status, use the IRS' online tool to check the status of your refund. This tool lets you know that the return has been processed and whether or not your refund has been issued. To use it, you will need your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), your filing status and the exact refund amount.
If you have filed an amended tax return, you can use the online IRS tool for amended returns to check its status. To use this tool, you'll need your Social Security number, date of birth and ZIP code. Note that amended returns can take up to three weeks to show up in the IRS system and up to 16 weeks to process.
Checking the IRS App
The IRS offers an app called IRS2Go that users can download onto their smartphone or tablet. This app is available for both Android and Apple users. It gives you the status of your tax return and lets you know that it was received. If you are due a refund, it also gives you the status of the refund. Enter your Social Security number or ITIN, filing status and refund amount from your tax return.
If you don't have access to a smartphone or computer, simply call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954. The automated system gives you your tax return and refund status. As with other IRS systems, you will need to have on hand your Social Security number or ITIN, filing status and refund amount.
Checking Your Return Status
Once you've filed your taxes electronically, if you haven't received a confirmation email, begin checking the status of your tax return within 24 hours of submission. If you mail your tax return, wait a minimum of four weeks for the IRS to receive and process the return before you check. When checking, keep in mind that the system updates every 24 hours, so you can look daily until your return is processed.
Read More: When Can You Get That Tax Refund?
Susan Paretts has contributed to a variety of publications and websites about financial topics including City National Bank, Bizfluent, AZCentral, Consumer Reports and Money Magazine among others. Her expertise is in tax law, nonprofit issues, small business concerns, ways to grow you business, financial planning and retirement.