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Where is my tax refund? Track your tax return and when your money will arrive


Here are two ways to keep an eye on your tax return and refund status with the IRS.

Sarah Tew / CNET

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you have less than a month to get the May 17 deadline arrives (here it is best tax software). For those who have applied, you will want your Tax return and refund 2020 status. There are two IRS tools you can use to check your updates online – they’re similar to how you do follow the status of your third stimulus check (or a “plus-up payment“) of up to $ 1,400 per person.

One benefit of using the tools is knowing when the IRS received your tax return, or if they have even started processing it. You can also use it to see when your refund has been sent – especially if you’re waiting to miss out on any stimulus money you claimed as a Credit for chargeback discount.

We’ll show you how to track your refund and when to expect it. If you have kids, you want to know child discount payments, including how much money you get. This is what we know about one fourth stimulus control, who should file an amended tax form and seven tax breaks for 2020. This story was recently updated.

Here’s how to track your 2020 tax refund

You need to have several things on hand to keep track of the status of your tax refund: your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number, your filing status – for example, single, married, or householder – and your exact refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return. Also, make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before trying to track your refund.

Using the IRS tool Where’s My Refund, enter your Social Security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Send. If you have entered your details correctly, you will be taken to a page showing your refund status. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax information and try again. If all the information looks correct, you should enter the date you filed your tax, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.

There is also a mobile app called IRS2Go that checks the status of your tax refund. The IRS updates the data in this tool at night every day, so if you don’t see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the next day.

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How long it may take to receive your tax refund

The IRS says it issues most tax refunds within 21 days, but many people get their refund much earlier. This year, however, the IRS is reportedly facing delays complicated by the fact that it had to send third stimulus checks at the same time (here’s more on that incentive checks and tax season 2020). However, now that most of the stimulus payments have been made, the IRS should switch to processing tax returns.

If there are errors, it may take longer for the agency to process and handle your tax refund. The same goes for people who have made a claim for a payroll tax credit or the child tax credit (here is who qualifies for the child discount).

When your tax refund could come, if there is no additional delay

If you submit a file on this date

This is the fastest

This is the last

March 1

8 March

March 22nd

April 1st

April 8

April 22nd

15 of April

April 22nd

6 May

May 17 (last day to submit)

May 24

June 7

October 15 (last day with extension)

Oct 22, 2018

November 5th

The date you receive your tax refund also depends on how you filed your tax return. For example with refunds into your bank account via direct deposit, it can take another five days for your bank to credit it to your account. This means that if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to post it, you will have to wait a total of 26 days to receive your money.

If you file your tax return by mail, the IRS says it can take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. That’s where tracking your refund comes in handy. Here are some possible dates when you could receive your refund depending on when you applied.

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What these tax return status messages mean

Both the IRS tools (online and mobile) show you one of three messages to explain your tax filing status.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if you owe one.
  • sentYour refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check in your mailbox. (Here’s how change your address if you have moved.)

Six reasons why your tax refund is still not on its way

The IRS has a list of reasons that could potentially delay your refund.

  • Your tax return contains errors.
  • It is not complete.
  • Your refund has been affected by identity theft or fraud.
  • You have applied for the payroll tax credit or additional child tax credit.
  • Your return should be reviewed.
  • Your tax return includes Form 8379 (PDF), Injured Spouse Assignment – this can take up to 14 weeks to process.

The ‘last’ date your tax refund expired. Should You Contact the IRS?

While you can technically call the IRS to check your status, the agency’s live phone assistance is extremely limited at this point, so you can be on hold for a while to speak to a representative. The IRS also says you should only call if it has been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online, or if the Where’s My Refund tool tells you to contact the IRS.

For more information about your 2020 taxes, here is how to claim missing incentive money on your taxes and everything you need to know about the third stimulus check.

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