IRS: Where’s My Refund?

IRS: Where’s My Refund?
  • Opening Intro -

    If you filed your tax return and are still waiting on a refund from the Internal Revenue Service, then you may need to contact the IRS to learn the status of your refund.


Missing tax money and how to get your refund.

Refunds are processed in the order that tax returns are received by the IRS, but if a significant amount of time has passed, then you need to get an answer to this question: where’s my refund?

Tax Refunds

According to the IRS, you can expect a refund within 10 to 21 days if you e-filed your return. A paper return can take longer to process, but if 30 days have passed, then contact the IRS to learn the status of your refund.

The easiest way to get an update is to fill out a form on a secured IRS page and include information about yourself. You need to give three pieces of information:

1. Your Social Security Number. Use the same number shown on your tax return.

2. Your filing status. Check the appropriate bubble: single, married-filing joint return, married-filing separate return, head of household or qualifying widow(er).

3. Put in your refund amount. An exact whole dollar amount of your return as shown as your tax refund is the last bit of information that the IRS needs to ensure that you receive a correct response.

Site Availability

Once you have entered in the required form information, hit the “submit” button and you will get your answer right away. However, there are certain times when the IRS site will not process your information, so note thetime restrictions before filling out the form.

If you prefer, you can also contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1954, giving the tax service the same information required with the form.

Undelivered Refunds

How widespread is the tax refund problem? Well, in November 2011 the IRS announced that it was holding $153.3 million in tax refunds for 99,123 taxpayers. The undelivered refund checks average $1,547 in 2011, a tidy sum for most people.

The IRS wants to get money back to taxpayers, but oftentimes people move without giving a forwarding address. If that is the case for you, then contact the IRS to get your refund. Also, fill out Form 8222 to formally put in your change of address.

Beginning next tax season your refund should arrive on time if you submit it on time. Make sure that the address on your tax return matches your current address. Follow the previously mentioned steps if your refund does not arrive within the times prescribed by the IRS.


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Categories: Tax Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".