The Internal Revenue Service website offers a Where's My Refund? service that updates refund statuses once every 24 hours. The user enters her Social Security number, filing status and the exact amount of her refund to check the status of her refund.
The IRS generally issues income tax refunds within 21 days of receiving a tax return. E-filed tax returns have the fastest refund time because the IRS receives the returns immediately. A taxpayer who e-files her income tax return can start using the Where's My Refund? tool about 24 hours after she submits the return. People who file paper returns cannot see any updates in Where's My Refund? for about four weeks.
Taxpayers with smartphones have the option of checking income tax refund statuses on the IRS2Go mobile app. The app provides the same updates as the IRS website with the convenience of mobile access.
The IRS website also offers a Where's My Amended Return? tool. Amended returns take several weeks to process -- up to 16 weeks from the time the IRS receives the return. The taxpayer may find updates on the amended return starting about three weeks after mailing it to the IRS. To check the status, the user needs her Social Security number, date of birth and ZIP code.