Q:

What information do you need to use the IRS "Where's My Refund?" feature?

A:

Quick Answer

To use the "Where's My Refund?" feature, a taxpayer needs to submit her Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification number, the precise amount of her refund and her filing status, reports the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS contacts taxpayers if it needs more information.

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Full Answer

A taxpayer can begin to check the status of her return on "Where's My Refund?" 24 hours after the IRS receives an electronically filed return or four weeks after she mails a paper return, explains the IRS. The IRS updates the data once a day, so a taxpayer does not need to check more often than that. When the IRS receives the return and is processing it, the taxpayer sees the status as "Return Received." The taxpayer may receive a message with an explanation and instructions on "Where's My Refund?" and by post if the IRS needs further information.

When a taxpayer checks "Where's My Refund?" and receives the message that her refund is approved, the IRS is preparing to send the refund using the method that the taxpayer designates, as the agency explains. When the message is "Refund Sent," the IRS has transferred the refund via direct deposit or mailed a check. Funds transferred by direct deposit take one to five days to appear in accounts, while checks sent by mail may take several weeks to arrive.

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