How to Verify a Tax Filing

by Steven Wilkens ; Updated March 15, 2018

After filling out your forms, signing on the bottom line and dispatching your tax return to the proper IRS office, you are often left to wonder whether the IRS received the return. The IRS provides multiple options for you to file your returns, including online, by traditional mail or through a professional tax preparation service. Not all of these choices offer immediate verification that the IRS has received the tax filing.

The good news is that verifying a filing with the IRS is a quick, easy and painless process. Whether you are checking on the status of a refund or simply confirming that the IRS has received your return, the IRS makes it convenient to verify a filing. The key is to gather all your relevant tax information before contacting the IRS.

Assemble Your Tax Data

Whether you are reaching out to the IRS by phone or online, you will be required to provide some basic personal information. In addition to your full name, be prepared to supply the IRS with your street address, ZIP code, date of birth and Social Security number. The IRS representative may also ask for your filing status. The five primary filing statuses are single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household and qualifying widow or widower with dependent children. Finally, you may have to provide the amount you owe or the amount of your expected refund. It helps to have a photocopy or digital image of your return on hand.

Contact the IRS Directly

If you are contacting the IRS by phone, the best number to call is the main IRS customer service line, which is (800) 829-1040. Taxpayers who are hearing impaired or speech impaired may use the IRS TTY service line, which is (800) 829-4059. IRS representatives on those lines will be able to assist you with verifying your tax filing. The dedicated number to check on the status of your refund is (800) 829-1954. Service is automated, available 24 hours a day and offered in either English or Spanish. A final option to obtain an update on a tax refund by phone is to call the IRS TeleTax System at (800) 829-4477. All the numbers are toll-free. You should wait about two to three weeks after filing to contact the IRS.

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Obtain Refund Status Online

If you are anticipating a refund, you can check the status of your filing by visiting the "Refunds" section of the IRS website. It is best to wait four weeks after filing before checking. Even if you are not anticipating a refund, you can discover whether your return has been processed by visiting the "Get Transcript" portion of the IRS site. If you are verifying an amended tax filing, you can also use the IRS website. The IRS advises that it can take up to three weeks after mailing for an amended return to enter the system and up to 16 weeks for complete processing.

About the Author

Steven Wilkens has been a professional editor and writer since 1994. His work has appeared in national newspapers and magazines, including "The Honolulu Advertiser" and "USA Today." Wilkens received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.

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