What Information Should You Have Ready When Checking Your Federal Refund Status?


Quick Answer

When checking your federal refund status, have your Social Security number and tax filing status available. You also need the exact amount of your expected tax refund. Check your status via telephone by calling 800-829-1959 or online on the Refunds page of IRS.gov.

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Full Answer

Begin checking the "Where's My Refund" site as early as 24 hours after filing your return. Once you enter the required information, the system advises whether your tax return was accepted by the IRS and the exact amount of any refund. The site also provides an estimated date for delivery of the funds by mail or direct deposit. The IRS updates refund information once daily, usually overnight.

The time frame for receipt of your tax refund varies depending on your chosen filing and payment methods. If you electronically file your tax return, the IRS usually generates a refund within 21 days of receipt. For paper returns, refunds are generally issued within four weeks. These time frames may be longer if you have tax liens or child support debts that offset your refund amount.

The IRS advises that direct deposit is the fastest method for receipt of a tax refund. Designate up to three savings or checking accounts for deposit of your funds.

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