How Can You Track an IRS Refund Online?


Quick Answer

Taxpayers can track refunds from the Internal Revenue Service online through the Where's My Refund? search tool, reports the IRS. They can begin tracking their refunds within 24 hours of electronically filing a tax return or four weeks after mailing a return.

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Full Answer

To access the Where's My Refund? online tools, go to IRS.gov, and click on Where's My Refund? under Filing & Payment on the right side of the page. Under How, click on Where's My Refund?, select your filing status, and enter your Social Security number and the exact amount of your refund. Taxpayers are able to track their refunds through the three stages: "Return Received," "Refund Approved" and "Refund Sent." "Return Received" means that the IRS has not finished processing the return, and "Refund Approved" means that the IRS plans to send the refund soon, according to IRS.gov. "Return Sent" means that the return is on its way via direct deposit or paper check.

Once the tracking tool indicates "Return Sent," a return that the IRS sends by direct deposit may appear in the taxpayer's account within one to five days, while a mailed check may take several weeks to reach the taxpayer, according to the IRS. Although the IRS sends out most refunds in under 21 days, some refunds may take longer if the tax returns are incomplete or in error, or if they need further review.

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