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How to Check Your IRS Tax Refund Status: A Step-by-Step Guide

By: Nestor Caballero CPA

Tax season can be stressful, but the anticipation of receiving a refund can also make it exciting. For those eagerly awaiting their tax refund, the IRS offers several straightforward methods to check the status. Whether you are a seasoned taxpayer or a newcomer to filing, this guide will help you understand how to track your tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

 #### 1. Gather Your Information 

 Before you check your refund status, make sure you have the necessary information handy. You will need: 

- Your Social Security number or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). 

- Your filing status (such as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)). 

- The exact refund amount you are expecting, as stated on your tax return. 

 #### 2. Use the 'Where’s My Refund?' Tool 

 The IRS offers an online tool called 'Where’s My Refund?' that you can use to check the status of your federal tax refund. Here’s how to use it: 

- Visit the IRS website: Go to [IRS.gov](https://www.irs.gov) and click on the 'Refunds' tab or directly navigate to [Where's My Refund?](https://www.irs.gov/refunds). 

- Enter your information: Input your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact refund amount. 

- Submit and review: After submitting your details, you will see a status bar displaying three phases: Return Received, Refund Approved, and Refund Sent. This will let you know where your refund is in the process. 

 #### 3. Check Status via IRS2Go App 

 For those who prefer using their mobile device, the IRS offers the IRS2Go app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, or Amazon. The app provides the same information as the 'Where’s My Refund?' tool but on your mobile device. It is user-friendly and secure. 

 #### 4. Telephone Inquiry 

 If you do not have internet access or prefer to receive information via telephone, you can call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954. Note that phone inquiries may take longer, especially during peak times. Be sure to have your Social Security number, filing status, and refund amount ready before you call. 

 #### 5. Understand IRS Timelines 

 Typically, the IRS issues most refunds within 21 days of receiving an electronically filed tax return or six weeks of receiving a mailed paper return. If your return requires further review, it may take longer. Using the 'Where’s My Refund?' tool or the IRS2Go app, you can get personalized updates which can help set your expectations accurately. 

 #### 6. What If Your Refund Is Delayed? 

 If it has been more than 21 days since you e-filed or more than six weeks since you mailed your return and there’s no update on your refund status, you might want to contact the IRS directly. Sometimes delays can be due to errors in your tax return, incomplete information, or a need for additional review. 

 #### Conclusion 

 Checking your IRS tax refund status is a simple and straightforward process. By using the tools provided by the IRS, you can quickly find out when to expect your refund. This not only helps in planning your finances better but also provides peace of mind. Remember, the key to a swift refund is accurate and early filing. If you need help with your tax return preparation or have more detailed questions about your tax situation, consider consulting a tax professional. 

 At CFLG, we are always ready to assist you with expert tax advice and services to ensure you get the most out of your tax returns. Contact us today for all your tax needs!