Where’s My Tax Refund? How to Check Your Refund Status

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The average direct deposit tax refund was over $3,000 last tax season, and with tax season now over, it’s no surprise that the most common tax season-related question we’re now hearing is: “Where’s My Refund?”

We know that you work hard for your money and that your tax refund may be the biggest check you get all year, so we’re here to let you know what happened after you hit the e-file button and how to check the status of your tax refund.

The IRS issues all tax refunds — TurboTax does not issue the actual refund. If you have an IRS acknowledgment, then they are processing the return. Here is a breakdown of IRS processing times, how your tax return will progress through the three (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.

Refund Processing Time

  • E-filed tax returns with direct deposit: E-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your federal tax refund. The IRS states that nine out of 10 e-filed tax returns with direct deposit will be processed within 21 days of IRS e-file acceptance.
  • Mailed paper returns: If you filed a paper return, please allow 4 weeks before checking the status. Refund processing time is 6 to 8 weeks from the date the IRS receives your tax return.

Refund Process

  • Start checking status 24 – 48 hours after e-file: Once you have e-filed your tax return, you can check your status using IRS Where’s My Refund? You will not be able to start checking the status of your tax refund for 4 weeks if you mail a paper tax return. Please note you will need the following information when checking on your refund status: Social security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount.
  • 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 need the following information when checking refund status: Social security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact federal tax refund amount shown on the tax return. You will not see a tax refund date until the IRS finishes processing your tax return and approves your tax refund.
  • 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.” While the change in status can take a few days, it could also take longer, and a refund date will not be provided in Where’s My Refund? until your tax return is processed and your tax refund is approved.
  • Where’s My Refund? tool shows refund date: The IRS will provide a personalized refund date once your status moves to “Refund Approved.” The IRS issues nine out of 10 refunds within 21 days of acceptance if you e-file with direct deposit.
  • Where’s My Refund? shows “Refund Sent”: 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 opted to receive your tax refund via mail, it could take several weeks for your check to arrive.

Here are more answers to some common tax refund questions:

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

Where’s My Refund tool 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 include incomplete information, an error, or the IRS may need to review it further.

I requested my money be automatically deposited into my bank account, but I was mailed a check. What happened?

The IRS is limiting the number of direct deposits that go into a single bank account or prepaid debit card to three tax refunds per year. Your limit may have been exceeded.

Haven’t filed your taxes yet? Get that much closer to your tax refund and file today. You may even be able to e-file your federal and state tax returns for free with TurboTax Free Edition and have your federal tax refund in your pocket within 21 days.

Don’t worry about knowing tax laws. TurboTax will ask simple questions about you and your income to give you the tax deductions and credits you are eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions, you can connect live via one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent with an average of 15 years of experience to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can also review, sign, and file your tax return.

Comments (2,004) Leave your comment

  1. my daughter efiled on feb 23. the next day i got the confirmation email that they both were accepted. but when i get on the irs website to check the status of it it cant pull it up. can u help me?!

  2. TurboTax Deluxe 2019 said I have a Wind Energy Credit Carryover…..I’m positive that I don’t….and would have to mail my return for NY state. E-file was not available nor was Direct Deposit of my Federal or State refund. A paper check would be sent. I tried any and every link that looked like it would provide help. All failed. I went to a competetor’s office and had my taxes done and accepted by Federal and State in 2 hours. Thus ends my 10 year run with Turbo Tax. Regards, JH

  3. I submitted my federal and state tax return February 11th and both were accepted that day, I’ve only received my state Return where’s my federal return at.

  4. I e-filed with the direct deposit option on January 31, 2019 and still haven’t received my taxes. Could you please help me figure out what the problem may be. Thank you, Amber

    1. I filed mine on January 28 and got accepted that day it took little over month as I just got mine back due to having kids and eic credit

  5. I am supposed to be getting back $529.00 and I received only $310.00 so then where is the rest of my refund , I received the $310.00 on February 22nd but nothing after that could you please check into this and let me know whenever I will get the rest of my refund. Thanks

  6. IRS said they’ve sent my refund back to turbotax to have my fee taken out. How long will it take TurboTax to issue my refund to my bank?

    1. I’m having the same issue
      I’m really mad it seems to be a issue with Turbo Tax refunds this year

  7. Efiled on 1/13/19 with turbo.accepted on 1/15/19.counted 21 days from 28th and still no changes.I have gotten 6 different reasons for the delay.its a simple 1040.have had no issues with turbo/IRS before. A simple 1040…just don’t get it.overwhelming.

    1. I don’t understand either I’ve been filing with Turbo Tax for 10 years and NEVER had this type of delay

  8. I feel it’s crazy you can’t fix or change your direct deposit information if something, especially if you already took the fees out. I’m very unpleased. Credit karama will be next choice

  9. I filed January 28 and it’s saying it’s due to hit my bank today but the IRS still hasn’t sent it. I’m starting to get frustrated. What could be taking so long?

  10. On the irs website my bars dissapeared and I get a message saying my refund is still being processed a refund date will be provided when available what does that mean? I have one bar up until a few days ago and have the topic 152 nothing else

  11. I received the turbotax card when I tried and failed to get an advance but in the explanation of the card benefits it stated I could receive my refund faster than traditional bank direct deposit. The where’s my refund app states my refund will be in my bank by the 27th shouldn’t I have my refund now that the irs said I will by the 27th? If not then why was I basically lied to?

  12. My refund was completed on January 28th I have a child that I claimed on my taxes and my taxes is still saying it’s being processed processing why is that
    .

  13. I filed our taxes in early January and they were accepted on the 14th of January. I have used turbo tax for 9 years. I have never had any problems with them at all and I have always received my refund no later then the 10th of February in past years. It seems like everyone that has used Turno Tax this year has had nothing but problems. The fact that they clearly lie about it being free to file, I over look it every year and suck it up and pay the amount they charge, but now I there are several thousand people that filed their taxes in February and they have either received their refund already or they have a DDD. Here I am, and several others that used turbo tax to file this year just waiting and waiting. I am beyond furious and frustrated to the point that I will never use them again!!!! To add more to my unhappiness that they have caused, I will tell everyone I know and come into contact with, TO NEVER USE TURBO TAX TO FILE TAXES!!!!!!! They have lost a loyal customer forever.

  14. I filed Jan 22nd and it’s saying on hold. When called they said It was not a hold on it, and that was 2 weeks ago. Now it’s still saying there is a hold. What is the problem?

    1. they are questioning your refund -most likely your refund and how you arrived to it-you will receive a letter from IRS stateing the reason-this is my second time for this -my advice don’t electronic file anymore send in paper copies-

  15. When should I receive my refund my federal was accepted and my state was also accepted I e-filed my taxes on February 12th

  16. I filled way to soon in Jan both were accepted I got my small check weeks ago but nothing on my big refund and my irs sear h says there’s not match with the information I provided

  17. My taxes was accepted on January 28,2019 and I haven’t received mine yet. And my bars have disappeared on wheres my refund.

  18. on IRS website (where is my refund) it is showing that my information isn’t correct. When i first filed the first week in FEB it was showing the status on the IRS website. For some reason now it is not showing anything at all. What is wrong why is it saying my information is incorrect. This is what it is exactly saying:

    You may not have entered your information correctly. Please verify your personal tax data and try again.

    1. You have to enter the exact information that you used when you filed your refund. That means the same
      address zip code name and phone number re email I know this because i have moved address since i filed so I put my new address in then it said that so iiIchabged it to my address that I filed with and it worked good lick

  19. i filed my taxes on 01/25 the next day i got an email saying they were accepted the IRS page kept on showing an error until maybe about 4 days ago? what happened ? the day i should be getting my taxes back according to the page already past but i havent gotten any emails saying i need more info or anything

      1. That is so wrong.. my refund was for x amount I had the eic and the extra child credit so far I only got the extra child credit deposit.. I have no garnishes so what’s up with the rest of my return?

  20. I done my the 17th of January and the irs excepted it on the 22nd of January and this is the 22nd of February and still haven’t got my refund

  21. I filed my taxes on January 28, and received a 5071c letter on February 15, stating I needed to verify my Identity. I did that on the February 15 the Irs said my raxes wad put back in processing and it would take 9 weeks for me to get my return. Does it really take 9 weeks?

    1. Good afternoon… I received the same letter two weeks ago ( counting this week )…..It happen to me year 2017 as well…I guess due to fraud, because people will try to use your personal information….I don’t think it will take up to 9 weeks; again It happen to me back in 2017 Same letter…You May be hearing something soon ….Blessing to you🙌🏽🙌🏽📖

  22. I efiled on 2/1 claiming 2 dependents and the eic. I then efiled for my son on 2/6 with same situation: 2 dependents and eic. Per IRS2Go he is to get his check tomorrow and mine is still processing. Why would this be?

  23. I filed on the 26th of June. Everything was approved and expected payment date was the 15th. On the 15th the IRS where’s my fund page changed the status to TAKE ACTION, DELAYED, CONTACT US @ ###… Im currently out of the country so I don’t have a way to call at the moment and of course there is no email. So any ideas on why it can be delayed?

  24. I went to SARS to submit only to find out that i am gonna get refund , was told to wait for 21 days & i was there on the 21st of January 2019 and today is the 21 of February , how long must i wait ?

  25. I filed my taxes on February 11,2019, it got accepted. But a week later, the WMR INDICATOR disappeared. What’s going on. A lot of people are having this problem. Is there something wrong with my refund? Please respond

  26. I filed my taxes on 1/24/1019 and all I’m seeing is being processed…it got accepted on the 1/24/2019:is being processed is been on file since 2/15/2019

  27. I have filed 2/08/2019 accepted 2/14/2019 it is still be processed mine hasn’t updated since 02/15/2019 some people are getting updates as well as direct deposit dates can u explain why I haven’t and why its not pending or deposit too my turbo tax card

  28. Turbo Tax needs to update their system. Any who claimed EITC/ACTC related refunds to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting Feb. 27, 2019..Also if you want a loan advance you need to deposit your funds in a The Turbo Prepaid Visa Card.. I’ve always been a big fan of Tax Turbo I’m no longer a fan.

  29. This has been by far the worst tax season. I filed on 1/16 still no update or date for when I will receive my refund. I’ve been stuck on the same screen on where is my refund AND the IRS still gives no answer. It’s sad NO ONE CAN GIVE ME AN ANSWER ABOUT MY MONEY! Not TurboTax or the IRS. I keep getting generic answers.

  30. I did my taxes on the 1st of February and they was Accepted The same day. Still haven’t gotten a date on when it will be deposited

  31. I filed my tax return on January 31st. It was accepted but still no approval date. My cousin filed hers a week after I did mine and she got an approval date already. I don’t know what’s going on.

  32. I am waiting too, I also claimed kids, I applied for a $200 advance and they sent me a card but it got rejected because I had a social wrong so I went and fixed it, and the irs accepted it 1-15-19, I used e file, will my taxes come on that card they sent me or a check?

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