taxes

Where's Your Tax Refund From the IRS?

You may have trouble tracking the status of your money using the IRS Web site or app. Here's why.

Checking the status of your refund is usually pretty easy. The IRS gives taxpayers two ways to find out when they'll get their money: its Web site and a free smart phone app. However, you might have trouble at times accessing your refund information this tax season. That's because the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov and the refund feature on the IRS2go app may have limited availability due to a high volume of refund inquiries, according to the IRS.

If you've had trouble tracking the status of your refund on IRS.gov or the app, the IRS offers these tips:

-- Don't check too soon after you file your return. The IRS will post the status of your refund within 24 hours after it's received your e-filed tax return. If you mail your return, it takes four weeks.

-- Check only once a day. The IRS updates its refund data only once a day -- usually overnight. So the IRS urges taxpayers not to check the status of their refunds several times a day. Otherwise, a large number of inquiries will more likely lead to service disruptions.

-- Check on refunds at night or on the weekend to improve your chances of avoiding service delays.

-- Have the right information ready before logging onto IRS.gov or using the app. You'll need your Social Security number, filing status and refund amount as shown on your tax return.

-- Don't call about your refund. The IRS telephone service has the same information about your refund as the Web site and app. So if either of those two sources don't have any new information about the status of your refund, the IRS phone service won't either.

When you do receive your refund, consider these 10 smart uses for it. Then consider adjusting your tax withholding so that you get the money when you earn it. Sure, it feels great to get a big check you can use to pay down debt, fund a vacation or add to a retirement account. But it means you’re handing over too much money to Uncle Sam – money you could use each month to pay bills, buy groceries, invest in stocks or whatever. Use our Tax Withholding Calculator to see how much you can add to your paycheck by adjusting your withholding.

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