Where’s My Tax Refund?

Tax Refunds

The IRS officially opened for the 2014 tax season today and a common question asked around this time is “Where’s My Refund?”

Many taxpayers also have questions about how the process of getting tax refunds and refund timing works.

We know you work hard for your money and wanted to answer some of the most common questions we see about the issuance of tax refunds.

Here is a breakdown of how your tax return will progress through 3 stages with the IRS -“Return Received”, “Return Approved”, and “Refund Sent” once you e-file and where you can go to check your refund status so you understand “Where’s My Refund?”:

Refund Process

  1. Start checking status 24 – 48 hours after e-fileOnce you e-file with direct deposit, you can start checking the status of your return 24 – 48 hours after you e-file on the IRS Where’s My Refund tool.
  2. Return Received Notice within 24 – 48 hours after e-file – The IRS Where’s My Refund tool will show “Return Received” status once they begin processing your tax return.  You will not see a refund date until the IRS finishes processing your tax return and approves your tax refund.
  3. Status change from “Return Received” to “Refund Approved” – Once the IRS finishes processing your tax return and confirms your tax refund is approved, your status will change from “Return Received” to “Refund Approved”.  Sometimes the change in status can take a few days, but it could take longer and a date will not be provided in Where’s My Refund? until your tax return is processed and your tax refund is approved.
  4. Where’s My Refund? tool shows refund date – The IRS will provide an actual refund date once your status moves to “Refund Approved”.  The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in 21 days or less.
  5. Where’s My Refund? shows “Refund Sent” – You’re now closer to your biggest tax refund! If the status in Where’s My Refund? shows “Refund Sent”, the IRS has sent your tax refund to your financial institution for direct deposit.  It can take 1 to 5 days for your financial institution to deposit funds into your account.  If you requested that your tax refund be mailed, it could take several weeks for your check to arrive.

Here are more answers to your common questions about your tax refund:

Will I see a date right away when I check status in “Where’s My Refund”? 

Where’s My Refund will not give you a date until your tax return is received, processed, and your tax refund is approved by the IRS

It’s been longer than 21 days since the IRS has received my tax return and I have not received my tax refund.  What’s happening?

Some tax returns take longer than others to process depending on your tax situation.  Some of the reasons it may take longer are incomplete information, an error, or the IRS needs to review it further.

What other sources can I use to check my refund status?

Once you have e-filed your tax return with TurboTax, you can check your status using MyTurboTax.  You can even check your status on the go from your mobile device using TurboTax free app MyTaxRefund.

If you haven’t e-filed your taxes yet, you can start today.  You may even be able to e-file your federal tax return for free and have your biggest tax refund in your pocket within 21 days.

Comments (3,050) Leave your comment

  1. I received the infamous 1121 code when my $5000 refund didn’t go into my checking as the Where’s My Refund site it would in April 2014. I have made 7 attempts to work with the IRS but they never follow through or can tell me what the problem is. They say it’s not the return, it’s a refund issue. Visited a local office and they did a referral, but they are confused why I’m not getting my money. No one calls, no one from the IRS writes, no nothing. My accountant tells me that only two of us are having the same problem. We are a newly married couple in 2013 having done single returns and so is the other party that can’t get an answer from the IRS. The Taxpayer Advocate group still won’t help unless we are losing our home, even though the local IRS office says they should help because it’s been so, so long with nothing. Anyone else having a problem like this? I wouldn’t care so much if they didn’t owe me so much, but they do. My accountant has called and gotten nothing, but said I should probably ask my local congressional office for assistance. I don’t think that would do much to be honest. Any ideas? Thank you.

    1. I forgot to mention above that we file married filing jointly for 2014, separate returns were for earlier years.

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