WASHINGTON — Offering time-saving alternatives to a telephone call, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers they can get fast answers to their refund questions by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov and through the IRS2Go app.
The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, and the fastest way to get a refund is to file electronically and choose direct deposit. The time around Presidents Day is a peak period for telephone calls to the IRS, resulting in longer than normal hold times for callers.
The question most frequently asked this time of year is, “Where’s my refund?”. The IRS reminds taxpayers that IRS customer service representatives can only research a refund’s status if it has been 21 days or more since the taxpayer filed electronically or six weeks since they mailed a paper return.
Taxpayers can avoid the Presidents Day rush and get a personalized answer by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool. All that is needed is the taxpayer’s Social Security number, tax filing status (single, married, head of household) and exact amount of the tax refund claimed on the return. Alternatively, taxpayers may call 800-829-1954 for the automated phone line, which provides the same information.
Within 24 hours of filing a return electronically, the tool can tell taxpayers that their returns have been received. That time extends to four weeks if a paper return is mailed to the IRS, which is another reason to file electronically and choose direct deposit.
Once the tax return is processed, “Where’s My Refund?” will tell a taxpayer when their refund is approved and provide a date when they can expect to receive it. “Where’s My Refund?” is updated no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so taxpayers don’t need to check the status more often.
Refunds held for certain returns
As a reminder, by law, the IRS cannot release refunds for Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit tax returns before mid-February. “Where’s My Refund?” on IRS.gov and the IRS2Go app will be updated with projected deposit dates for most early Earned Income Tax Credit/Additional Child Tax Credit refund filers by Feb. 22.
The IRS expects most EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or on debit cards by the first week of March, if they chose direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return. Taxpayers should check the “Where’s My Refund?” tool for their personalized refund date.
Please note: Ordering a tax transcript will not speed delivery of tax refunds nor does the posting of a tax transcript to a taxpayer’s account determine the timing of refund delivery. Calls to request transcripts for this purpose are unnecessary.
While the IRS still expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days, it’s possible a particular tax return may require additional review and a refund could take longer. Many different factors can affect the timing of a refund. And, remember to take into consideration that many banks do not process payments on weekends or holidays and it can take time for a financial institution to post the refund to a taxpayer’s account or to receive it by mail.