How to Find Your Tax Refund

Tax Tips

You filed your taxes and discovered that a big refund is headed your way. That’s great! Now you’re wondering when it will arrive. The sooner it gets here, the sooner you’ll be able to spend it, save it, or whatever it is you want to do with it. So how do you find out when your tax refund is expected to arrive?

There are many ways for you to find the expected arrival date of your tax refund, but first you should know that it takes the IRS a few days before they can give you an estimate on your refund date. So even if your tax software or your accountant give you an initial estimate, you need to check with the IRS a few days later to be sure of how long it will take. According to the IRS, if you e-file your return, you can start checking on your return after 72 hours of filing. If you mailed in your tax return, you can start checking on your refund in 3 weeks.

IRS “Where’s My Refund” Website

Once the waiting period has lapsed, you can visit the IRS “Where’s My Refund” website to check the status of your refund. This online tool allows you to input a few key pieces of information and get a date when your refund will be sent. You will need to enter the following information:

  • Social Security Number (you or your spouse if Married Filing Jointly)
  • Filing Status (Single, Married Filing Jointly, Head of Household, Married Filing Separately, or Qualifying Widower)
  • Refund Amount (the exact dollar amount of your Federal tax refund)

Once you enter this information, the “Where’s My Refund” online tool will tell you the status of your refund (when your direct deposit will be sent, or when your check will be mailed). If you are trying to access this tool from your iPhone or Android phone, it might be best to use the IRS2Go App.

MyTaxRefund – Free iPhone/iPad App

Another great way to find your refund information on the go is to use the TurboTax MyTaxRefund App. It’s a free iPhone/iPad app that let’s you quickly determine where your refund is. If you filed with TurboTax, this app will tell you when your return was filed, when it was accepted by the IRS, and an estimated date of when you can expect to receive your refund.

Finally, if all else fails, be sure to reference the IRS E-File Refund Cycle Chart. Based on the date your e-filed your return, the chart gives you a date of when you can expect the IRS to send your direct deposit or mail your refund check. Find out more about this calendar and your expected refund date by visiting the TurboTax “when will I get my refund” page.