Are You Looking For Your Federal Tax Refund?

You have filed your taxes and are expecting a refund on your Federal Return.  How can you check on the status of your refund?  Visit the website and use the Where’s My Refund tool.  Your return should be available within 24 hours after the IRS has acknowledged receipt.  You will also be able to receive a personalized refund date after the return is processed and a refund is approved.  Access to the Where’s My Refund? tool is also available on the IRS2Go app.

If you want to use the tool, you will need your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification number, your filing status and the exact amount of the refund claimed on your return. 

When using the tool, you can determine the progress of your return processing in three phases:  return received; refund approved; refund sent. The refund approved indicates that the refund is being prepared for direct deposit or by check to be mailed.

The tool is updated once a day – usually overnight. 

So, if you are lucky enough to be getting a refund, you can check once a day to determine the status.  Please don’t call the IRS about expediting your refund.  There are many callers with substantive issues and the people in the call centers are not able to provide any information that you don’t have access to. Nor are they able to speed up the refund processing. 

If you are looking for more information, there is a Refund FAQ section on 


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About the Author

Kay Sowa is a paralegal in the Trusts and Estates Group at Capehart & Scatchard, P.A. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Estate Planner®, and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor. She oversees the trust and estate administration practice for the firm. She is an accomplished author and lecturer who has frequently spoken on behalf of a number of organizations including the National Business Institute and the Institute of Paralegal Education.

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