By Elizabeth Rosen
If you are like most people, the last thing you want to do is wait several weeks or months to hear about the status of your federal tax refund. Rather than sit back and hope your tax refund is on its way, there are a few things you can do to find out where it is.
The IRS has an electronic system in place, called “Where’s My Refund – It’s Quick, Easy, and Secure.” This is a tool on the IRS website that can help you figure out the status of your tax refund so you can avoid having to navigate through the phone system. The “Where’s My Refund” electronic tool helps taxpayers check on the status of their tax returns and refunds. It also helps the IRS reduce the number of phone calls they get from confused and frustrated taxpayers looking for their tax refunds.
If you filed your income tax return electronically, you will be able to start checking on the status of your tax refund within 24 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt. If you file your tax return by paper mail, it will take the IRS longer to get and process your return, which means you will probably not able to use the “Where’s My Refund” system for at least four weeks. This is another reason e-filing has become so common among taxpayers.
The “Where’s My Refund?” tool monitors the status of your tax refund by providing simple alerts based on three basic steps of the tax return and refund process: Tax Return Received, Tax Refund Approved and Tax Refund Sent. To access the system, you will need to have several key pieces of information ready ¿ this includes your filing status, Social Security number and the exact whole dollar amount of your tax refund. Without providing this information, you may just have to wait it out and hope that your refund arrives soon enough.