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

Tax Refunds Man checking his refund status

The average direct deposit tax refund was close to $3,000 last tax season, and with tax season well underway, 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 your tax return. Here is a breakdown of IRS processing times, how your tax return will progress through the three 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 the IRS Where’s My Refund? tool. 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 and a tax 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, if you have a simple tax return, 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 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. I filled my taxes well over a month ago. Have received the Fed return about 2 weeks ago. Have not received the State return ? Have not received anything from State that something is wrong. When will I receive my return from NY State ?

  2. I filed my taxes on 3/11/2019; I was accepted on 3/14/2019, and unlike the majority of people who post here, I will come back and let you folks know if and when I get approved and my refund. I was able to order my tax account and return transcripts 2 days ago, and previously when I have been able to do that I get my DDD within a few days. I will come back and let you folks know when or if it happens. Don’t waste your time asking someone who works for TurboTax what and when it’s going to happen because they respond with a generic response that never answers the question you’ve asked.

    Good luck,
    Devin Nunes’ gerbil

  3. I E-filed my fed and state tax returns on Feb. 17, to date I have not received notification from either the state or Fed or Turbo tax that they have been received. Its been 5 weeks. Do I need to resubmit them?I have never had this issue in the past and have using Turbo tax doe the past 6 years.

    1. I have not heard from anything yet I don’t even know if my returns have been accepted bt either the Feds or the state. Can I refile yes or no?

  4. I recieved my state but not my federal. If it was the other way around i would not be as upset, but with the state being 1/6 of what my federal is im pretty upset. Ive never had any issues with my taxes ever. I file with turbotax one year 2018 on feb 4 and its march 19 and no fed. I called the irs abd they say im under review. Looked it up, review is the same thing as an audit. Now im not scared of the audit because ive always been straight with uncle sam. But now i have to wait 8 more weeks before i can even inquire about them. And i paid for the premium or whatever it is. When i recieved my state taxes there was no notification. I had to call my state and have them tell me theyve heen deposited a week ago. Not happy at all.

  5. I’m still waiting on mine….Turbo tax took a lot of money from me and I was told it would get directly deposited into my bank account but I was mailed my state I’m still waiting on my federal not sure why it’s taking so long

  6. I failed my return feb 28 and everytime I log in it’s says ready to mail but still haven’t received anything

  7. It sounds like we’re all having the same issues for the most part, so is it something to do with turbotax or the IRS? I filed on 2/6 both were accepted then I got the ID verify from federal and state in that order, I completed the both over the phone I received my state on 3/12 after receiving the letter for my identity it wasn’t even a week between the two that my state was deposited. Federal is still saying the same thing I ask if its Turbotax or the IRS because I will no longer use Turbotax if that’s the case (used them the past 7 years) never had any issues like this. In 2016 I did receive my state before my federal that year.

    1. Hi James,
      The IRS issues your tax refund. TurboTax does not issue your refund. If the IRS accepted your taxes then they are processing them. Hopefully you will see your tax refund soon. Since it has been over 21 days you can call them and check status on your tax refund if you don’t see anything on their “Where’s My Refund?” tool.
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

      1. What number should we call if we have efiled and haven’t received our refund in almost two months?

      2. Thanks for the suggestion and ,We did call and got the answer ,”give the IRS till May 2. To process your refund that we were in a group of people randomly picked to check their returns ” for what? Then we recieved a letter 7 days later saying give the IRS till April 23 to further process. Also gave 5 different reasons ,all vague! From social security to remember it was a random selection. I don’t know but all sounds off to me. I’ve never had a issue before and my form looks the same as before . Never any fees other than turbo tax charge.

  8. I filed my federal and state on Fri 2/22. I never received any email confirmations and to my surprise my federal was in my account on Fri 3/1. Shocked! My state came on Tues 3/12. I logged into my Turbo Tax account that evening and it said I should be receiving my refunds on or around 3/15…. Not complaining and grateful for what I did receive just odd and still no email. My Boyfriend hasn’t gotten as lucky. We filed his on Fri 3/1 and again no email but neither of us felt a need to worry. On the 12th after receiving my state and checking Turbo Tax I checked his as well and little did we know his refund was REJECTED. We fixed the problem and it was accepted and we were given the estimated date to receive refund on 4/2. Nothing has came yet, not even the emails!

  9. I filed my state on feb 7th and still did not receive anything back. It says its been processed, with no offset amount, and it has not been mailed yet. I dont understand its been almost 6 weeks and nothing.

    1. I filed my taxes on February 7, 2019 and I received an email that it was received. I have received that my refund is still being processed and that I will receive a date. It has been about 6 weeks and I haven’t heard anything yet and I did efile, could you please tell me what’s going on with my refund.

      1. You need to contact irs that’s what I did I didn’t follow the prompts I just did what I had to do to get someone on the phone that’s when I was told my refund was under review and to keep check in the where’s my refund page but it could take up to 60 days to receive my refund and to not call them til may 5th if I haven’t got my refund or received a letter from them about what’s going on so I’m still waiting

  10. hi i filed taxes on feb. 15 and it was accepted and i still haven’t received it. can’t anyone on phone and still being processed is all i am seeing. haven’t received any notice or email saying something is wrong so why so long???

    1. Hello I filed on the 11th of February and still haven’t received a notice saying if anything was wrong or not, all it says is that it was received. I was to get my refund on March 4. What can I do about finding my refund?

      1. I went through the same thing your stuff is being reviewed i got accepted January 28 i went from processing still processing to delay in processing them back to processing and I was told that I was under a 45 day review that it will be up April 25 but I got an date Sunday letting me know I will be getting it this Wednesday hope this help u have to call them to see what’s going on

  11. Hi there this is nettie woods i file my taxes in February and I suppose to receive$16970 but I just received half just$711.0 what happened to the$600 where are the rest thank you

      1. I want to know too. Same thing happened to me……was supposed to get 660 but only got 320 and it says it’s been filed.

  12. Hi Lisa. I did my state taxes using turbo tax last year but did not file. There was a fee and I simply didn’t have the money. How can I get my last year’s state income tax return now?

  13. I think that if the irs or whomever is going to garnish taxes, they should only be able to take a certain percentage, not the whole amount.

  14. Waiting 9wks after wasting 3wks already because I needed to prove my identity.. Never again will I use TurboTax.. This is ridiculous!!! Filed early to get my Taxes done an now people who filed after me already got theirs.. WTF!!!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Everyone’s tax situation is different. If the IRS asked you to confirm your tax information your tax return was received by the IRS, but we don’t issue the tax refunds. Since it has been over 21 days you can call the IRS to check status on your tax refund if you don’t see an update in their “Where’s My refund?” tool.
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

    1. I don’t understand here but I filed my taxes with TurboTax 1/8 weeks ago, but haven’t got my state I don’t understand what’s going on here

  15. I filed feb. 4 with turbotax i usually go jackson hewitt but was trying to save money. So i filed the same that i do every year. And now the irs says im under review. The only thing that was different was using turbotax. Cetainly wish i woulda just paid the 600 bucks to jackson hewitt now. But thats alot for just like an hour of work. For them just to enter the information in for you. Like…. idk this really sux. I gotta wait 45 days before i can even ask what the problem is.

    1. Why are you blaming TurboTax? The government doesn’t care WHO you file with, whether it’s Jackson Hewitt or TurboTax… if you are under review it’s most likely because you either A. Made a mistake (whether in error or on purpose) or B. have incomplete information. Either way don’t blame others for the Governments issues…

  16. I did mine Feburary 2nd 2018 and found on the 25th that i had to prove my idenity to the IRS and now it will be another 9 weeks before i get my tax return I think they want to earn interest off our taxes.

    1. Same thing happen to me filled Feb. 6th an last week of February got that same letter.. 3wk wasted waiting just to do another 9wks..never using turbo tax next year!!

    1. State might have taken some…. if you owe any money for state property they send you a letter saying they have taken whatever amount and you will only receive whatever other amount.

    2. Hi Cheryl,
      There can be a few reasons. There could have been something missing from your state return and they could have made an adjustment. If that is the case they will send you something showing why your taxes were adjusted. Another reason tax refunds can come out different is due to debt owed from Past due child support, Federal agency non-tax debts, State income tax debt, Certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state which can be offset through the Treasury Offset Program. Here is more information:

      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  17. everyone I asked about state (Iowa) refund says they haven’t received theirs yet and most say it could take up to four months. Turbo Tax cost me almost $130. to file. Just a simple return, no extras. So much for FREE, FREE, FREE

  18. Filed with Turbo Tax on February 11th ..very simple return,nothing complicated.The site ( and commercials) claim that you can file for free.Since I have been using TurboTax ( 3yrs) I have been getting charged more every year.This year was $89.00 AND I still haven’t received my federal refund.Be careful!!!

  19. I e filed my tax returns on Feb. 7, 2019 got state refund within a couple of weeks. I am still waiting for federal. Wondering what is going on

  20. I filled and was “approved” Feb. 5th, still says under processing on irs.gov app, this has been the longest I have ever had to wait and I also paid $130. I hope turbo tax is going to put their part for what I paid if this continues! There are no direct answers regarding “my” return.

  21. I filed my taxes through TurboTax e=file system on January 29. I had four tax forms—Fidelity, Brighthouse, Tiaa, and Social Security. each of which listed my withholding. This total matched line 16 of my final income tax form. I received a notice from the IRS in late February saying that there was a problem with line 16 withholding amount which would not be resolved for 4 to 6 weeks. I sent in the requested forms which should have already have been available to the IRS. The four tax forms were the same ones I submitted in 201Fr7 (updated to 2018 of course). I am very disappointed because I counted on getting the refund in February. I found that the IRS has no way of being contacted to explain the problem which I don’t feel really exists.

  22. State says refund deposited March 13th still nothing in bank have checked everything and all is correct where is my refund

  23. I got my federal refund but still haven’t received my state refund !! What’s the reason for the delay ???

  24. I used turbo tax to file my taxes. I received an email saying my federal was excepted 1/23/2019. March 2 I received a letter from IRS asking how I came up with amount on line 7 second page of 1040. I looked at my copy & the bottom half did not print out, this is where my 1099Rs would of been. I made copy of 1040 thru irs.gov & it was the same way. I sent copies of my 1099rs with letter I received to IRS. This was maddening to me why did I get approved 1/23/2019 . I had 20 days from date of letter (2-25-2019) I almost went to Fla for month of March so I would have been late with this. Don’t know if I will use or recommend turbo tax, very frustrated!

  25. I received the exact amount of my refund for Federal within one week. State refund takes longer as they seem to have additional inquiries at times.
    Very happy with turbo tax. 4 years filing with them.

  26. Filed February 3rd IRS website says accepted than there’s a delay and nobody knows what’s going on with my refund

  27. I efiled with turbo tax on Jan 27th and it was approved Jan 29th still no refund. I check irs wheres my refund and I get some thing saying it is still being processed. Topic 152 to click on but that is just stating reasons for delays. Where is my refund?

  28. Turbo tax doesn’t provide update on status like it used to. Even tho TurboTax says exile accepted when use refund status link and enter into says no record. I feel i am paying for Intuit to advertise rather than provide the service. Deluxe user not the FREE that I am paying turbo tax to advertise.😵

    1. I had to do the same for federal and state but when I finished the first one with my federal I got it a week and a half later. A week after that I got the notice from State still I’m waiting for my refund ..

  29. IRS indicates refund processed, it was going to be on one of those Turbo Tax cards…I have yet to receive the card!! I keep getting email “reminders” to enroll, I click on the link to enroll and it says try back when you’ve received your card, so clearly the system knows it hadn’t been sent yet. But why has my refund processed, as of almost 3 weeks ago, and I have nothing!!!!!!

  30. My AZ state tax form got rejected because it didn’t contain a Federal Schedule A since I took the standard deduction. AZ lets me itemize since my AZ itemized deduction is greater than the AZ standard deduction. When is Turbo Tax going to fix this problem so I can file my return that I paid for?

  31. I filed my takes on the 28th and didnt find out till around the time that I should’ve received it that my taxes was under review and could take up to 3 months to get back and yet its still not guaranteed .In which I had to call irs just to find this out so I was told to keep checkinf for a date but it can take til may the 5th before I here back from them im so upset

      1. Wow! That happened to me also which is why I’m on here and now after reading comments I feel it’s not looking good…….🤬🤬

      2. Hi Corry,
        If there was something missing the IRS or your state will make an adjustment. You should receive something from them if this is the case. Also if you have certain outstanding debt like past due child support,federal agency non-tax debt, state income tax debt, certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state these types of debt can be offset by the Treasury Offset Program. In addition past due federal obligations can be offset. Here is more information:

        Hope this helps!
        Lisa Greene-Lewis

      3. Well I’ve none of those things and was not notified of anything else the way it’s looking turbo tax did not file my earned income credit paper work.. so now i have to file an amended form thanks turbo tax

    1. Hi Alberto,
      If there was something missing the IRS or your state will make an adjustment. You should receive something from them if this is the case. Also if you have certain outstanding debt like past due child support,federal agency non-tax debt, state income tax debt, certain unemployment compensation debts owed to a state these types of debt can be offset by the Treasury Offset Program. In addition past due federal obligations can be offset. Here is more information:

      Hope this helps!
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  32. I got my federal did my state Feb 17 and haven’t gotten it back yet. Normally it doesn’t take this long. What’s going on.

    1. I hear you. Mine was accepted on Feb. and I still haven’t received my refund. Checking the IRS web site says my refund “is still being processed”. It’s never taken this long after e-file.

  33. I did my returns with turbo tax & i ended up paying in instead of receiving anything..which is weird because i dont make enough money to pay in. Ill never use this site again trust me

    1. Hi Jobvis,
      One thing to remember is tax rates were lowered starting last year so you may have seen more money in your paycheck throughout the year in 2018 instead of getting a tax refund and if you didn’t adjust your W-4 you may not have had enough withheld. Also, not sure what tax deductions that you claim, but some were eliminated for 2018. You can use our W-4 calculator to estimate your withholdings for 2019 so you don’t have any surprises in 2019 https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tools/calculators/w4/
      Hope this helps.
      Lisa Greene-Lewis

  34. Where’s my state tax? It says accepted 1/28. Its past 45 days, so where is it? Where’s my update? The state site hasn’t updated either. 185 to Turbo tax and your phone number doesn’t even work!

    1. Mines did the same thing i got accepted 1/28 and it went from processing my return to still processing then to refund delay now it’s back to we processing your return I called and it said that I am under a 45 days review and say that I have to give them until April 25 is when my days is up so I didn’t get on the review until after March 11th. But today is when I gotten the letter they is trying to verified my wages that I reported like I didn’t have my w-2’s but I just have to wait like they said. But hold on imma let u know how to speak to them

    2. To speak to a live agent 1-800-829-1040
      After choosing your language click option 2 for personal income tax
      Then option 1 for payment issues form tax withholding
      Then option 3 for other questions
      Then option 2 for other questions
      When ask to put in your ss number do not enter it will ask you twice then you will get another menu (sometimes it will just take u straight to the live agent) Then press 2 for personal individuals it should then transfer you to an agent but by no means put in your information cause it will only take u to an automated service hope this helps

    3. I’ve got the same problem except I’ve received my state but not my federal and cannot get a number of a single person but instead an automated instruction to check my status which I already know is being “processed”. According to turbo tax both the state and federal were accepted but IRS site shows being processed. This has NEVER happened and it is also ironic that for the first time ever I got my state refund before my federal

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