taxes

Ways to Check on Your Tax Refund

If you're wondering when you'll get your money, you have several ways to check.

Filling out your federal tax return may be a headache -- but, luckily, checking the status of your refund is easy. Here are three simple steps to find out when you'll get your money.

Step 1

Go to www.irs.gov and search for “Where’s My Refund?” (The IRS also provides a free smart-phone app, IRS2Go, available at the Apple App Store or Google Play.) You can check the status of your federal tax refund within 24 hours of filing electronically or four weeks after mailing a paper return. The service is updated every 24 hours. If you don’t have Internet access, call the IRS refund hotline at 800-829-1954.

Step 2

Provide your Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widow) and the exact amount of your refund. All of this information should be on your federal tax return.

Step 3

Get the status of your refund. Potential responses include “return received,” “return approved” and “refund sent.” If you receive a notice that the IRS has been unable to deliver your refund because of an incorrect address, you may be able to use the online tool to make changes or corrections. You’ll also receive information on how to launch a trace if you haven’t received your refund within 28 days of filing your return.

The payoff

You can plan when -- and how -- to use your money.

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