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taxes

Track the Status of Your Tax Refund

Here's how to find out when you'll get your money.

Filling out your federal tax return is no easy task -- but, luckily, checking the status of your refund is. The IRS gives taxpayers two ways to find out when they'll get their money: its Web site and a free smart phone app.

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You can use the Where's My Refund? tool at IRS.gov to check the status of your refund 72 hours after you e-file your return or four weeks after you mail your return. You'll need to enter your Social Security number, filing status and refund amount as shown on your tax return.

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If you have a smart phone, you can download the free IRS2Go app, which lets you check the status of your refund -- and get tax tips and your tax record. You'll need to enter the same information to track your refund with the app as you would online.

Both options provide an estimated date that the IRS will issue your refund -- not the date that you'll receive it.

When you receive your refund, consider these 10 smart uses for the money. 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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