Many taxpayers are anxiously awaiting this year’s tax refund that they hope to use to pay down debt, pad their savings or make a big purchase.
Historically, almost three-quarters of Americans receive a refund, which has averaged just under $3,000, a big sum for many families.
This year, the Internal Revenue Service expects most refunds to be issued in less than 21 days, as long as the return doesn’t require further review. Some USA TODAY readers have reported getting their refunds in as fast as one week.
Here’s how to find out the status of your refund if you’re still waiting for it.
If you haven’t received your tax refund, you can track its progress using the “Where’s My Refund?” app online or the free IRS mobile app IRS2Go. Information on your tax refund typically will be available within 24 hours after you filed an electronic return or four weeks after mailing a paper return. The app updates once a day – usually overnight.
To check your refund status, you will need provide your Social Security number, filing status and exact refund amount. The tool will show one of three statuses: Return Received, Refund Approved and Refund Sent. If you don’t have internet access, you can call 800-829-1954 for an audio version of “Where’s My Refund?”
Tax refunds for EITC and ACTC filers
The “Where’s My Refund” tool will also be updated this week for the majority of early filers who claimed either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC). Before that, those filers may receive a projected date or message saying the IRS was still processing their return.
Taxpayers who claimed the EITC or ACTC will see their tax refunds in their bank accounts or debit cards starting Feb. 27, if they chose direct deposit. That’s because, by law, the IRS couldn’t begin issuing those refunds before Feb. 15 to give the agency more time to detect possible fraud.
Is my tax refund lost?
It’s time to call the IRS about your tax refund if it has been more than 21 days since you e-filed, more than six weeks since you mailed your return, or the “Where’s My Refund?” tool directs you to contact the agency.