Where is My Tax Refund?

Waiting for your refund can put you in a pinch. Here's everything you need to know about tracking your federal tax refund.
Man searching the horizon at the beach. Possibly wondering where his refund is.

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Where’s My Tax Refund?

Are you anxious to get your refund? You’re not alone. Millions of filers ask where their refund is each year. If you filed your taxes online and you’ve waited at least 21 days without receiving your refund or an update, you should contact the IRS. If you filed your tax return by mail, you’ll need to wait at least 4 weeks for the IRS to process your return, and 6 weeks before contacting the IRS.

How long should I wait For My Refund?

We understand, waiting for your refund isn’t fun and can even be stressful. While most returns are processed quickly, the IRS reviews and issues refunds to millions of tax payers every year. During high volume times it is not uncommon for return processing to be delayed. Below is the most amount the IRS typically needs to process and issue a refund. 

Filing Method

Time To Wait

Filed Online

21 Days

Filed by Mail

6 Weeks

Looking for your refund? Track your IRS refund status

After you e-file your tax return you’ll need to wait at least 24 hours before you track it. When you file by mail you’ll need to wait at least 4 weeks before you can track your tax return. The IRS updates refund statuses once a day.

What do I need to track my refund?

  •  Social security number or ITIN

  •  Your filing status

  •  Your exact refund amount

Certain Tax Credits Will Delay Your Refund

Unfortunately, if you’re waiting for a refund and claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit you’ll have to wait until February for your refund. The PATH Act prevents the IRS from issuing refunds with those credits until then.  

Taxes Got You Like, wtf?

Don't worry, we've all been there

Man staring frustratedly at a computer screen.

Money. You want more, not less. Pricier services (think TurboTax) can be worth their weight in gold if you need the perks they offer. If not, you'll over pay for the same return you can get for less. Finding the right price is about understanding what you'll need to file.