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Track My Refund: How to Check Your IRS Refund Status

If your return was accepted by the IRS, the "Where's My Refund?" tool or the IRS2Go mobile app are the fastest ways to track and check on the status of your federal return in 2024.
Sabrina Parys
Tina Orem
By Tina Orem and  Sabrina Parys 

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Nerdy takeaways
  • If you're looking for your tax refund, use the "Where's My Refund" tracker first.

  • To check your refund's status you'll need your Social Security number, filing status and the amount of money you're owed as a refund.

  • If you filed your taxes online and your return is error-free, you can expect your refund within 21 days.


The days can seem to drag on when you're waiting for your tax refund to arrive, and watching the clock doesn't necessarily help. However, it's understandable to want to stay on top of your tax return's status, and there are several ways to do so.

A good place to start is the "Where's My Refund?" page offered by the IRS. You can track your refund there using some basic information from your tax return. If you haven't filed yet, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for a faster payment, such as filing electronically

IRS. Where's My Refund?. Accessed Jan 11, 2024.

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How to track your refund status with ‘Where's My Refund?’

The IRS "Where's My Refund?" tracker is the fastest way to check your federal tax refund status. The agency updates the tracker once per day, usually overnight. You can start checking on your tax refund status 24 hours after e-filing your return and from four weeks to six months after mailing a paper return.

To check on the status of your refund, you'll need to have three items prepared: your Social Security number (or individual taxpayer identification number), filing status and the amount of money due back to you as a refund.

The tracker will display where in the process your return is — return acceptance, refund approval, or refund sent. If there is a delay or an issue with your return, the tracker may ask you to provide more information or contact the IRS.

Click on the button below to go to the IRS' refund tracker for federal tax refunds. You can also check the status of your refund on your smartphone by downloading the IRS' mobile app, IRS2go, or by calling the agency's automated refund hotline at 800-829-1954.

If you submitted a 2021 or 2022 tax return, you can typically see your refund status on the “Where’s My Refund?” tool three to four days after e-filing. If you need to check the status of your amended return, there's a different tracker for that.

When will I get my tax refund in 2024?

The IRS does not have an official tax refund calendar or schedule, but it does provide basic guidelines for when you might expect your refund.

Taxpayers who e-file an error-free 2023 tax return can expect their refund within 21 days, per the IRS. Paper returns submitted by mail may require more processing time, which can delay refunds by up to six months.

How do I check my tax return status?

The IRS typically accepts tax returns within 24 to 48 hours of e-filing

Internal Revenue Service. Refunds. Accessed Feb 23, 2024.
. Once the agency accepts your return, you can begin to track your refund — but keep in mind that refund processing and delivery can take up to three weeks after acceptance.

If you e-filed using tax software, your provider should email you a confirmation once your tax return has been accepted by the IRS and/or your state tax department. You can usually also track your return's e-filing acceptance status by logging into the tax software program directly. There you will also be able to access your expected refund amount, which you'll need to jot down if you plan to use the "Where's My Refund?" tool.

Why haven't I received my tax refund?

There are a few reasons why your federal refund may be delayed. One of the most common culprits is submitting a return that contains an error, such as the wrong Social Security number or incorrect direct deposit information. The IRS could also be holding up your refund if it requires additional review or was incomplete.

If you're an early filer who claimed the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit, the IRS cannot issue your tax refund before mid-February by law. In 2024, if you chose direct deposit as your refund method and your return is error-free, the IRS estimates you’ll receive your refund by Feb. 27.

If you find yourself still waiting on your refund 21 days after e-filing or six weeks after mailing your return with no updates made to either the “Where's My Refund?” tracker or your online IRS account, you can try to call the agency's main hotline for more information.

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Estimate your 2024 IRS tax refund date

While there's no official IRS refund calendar, the agency gives some rough estimates of when you can expect to actually see your refund. Again, keep in mind that the IRS deposit dates will vary based on how and when you file your taxes.

Use the tax refund estimator below to get a general idea of when you might expect your refund. The estimator assumes that direct deposits may take up to three days to process and that the U.S. Postal Service may take up to seven days to send a paper check.

Where's my state tax refund? Track your state refund status

If you're wondering where your state tax refund is, you'll be relieved to know that most states have their own refund trackers. Find your state in the drop-down below to go right to its tax refund tracker.

Track my state refund

Note: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming don't collect income tax, so they're not listed here. In New Hampshire, regular income is generally not subject to state tax, but a flat tax rate applies to dividends and interest income.

How to get a tax refund sooner

Here are four things that can help keep your "Where's my refund?" worries under control.

1. Avoid filing your tax return on paper

You can save yourself from weeks of wondering, "Where's my refund?" by avoiding paper. If you file electronically, those returns are processed in about three weeks. State tax authorities also accept electronic tax returns, which means you may be able to get your state tax refund sooner, too.

2. Get direct deposit

When you file your return, tell the IRS to deposit your refund directly into your bank account instead of sending a paper check. That cuts the time in waiting for the mail and checking your IRS refund status. You can even have the IRS split your refund across your retirement, health savings, college savings or other accounts.

3. Stay on top of things

If you file using tax software or a tax pro, you can start tracking your IRS refund status 24 hours after the IRS receives your return. If you haven't received your tax refund after at least 21 days of filing online or six months of mailing your paper return, go to a local IRS office or call the agency's main number.

Taking these steps won’t necessarily fast-track your refund, according to the IRS, but you may be able to get more information about what's holding up your refund or return.

4. One more thing to know about your tax refund

It's actually something you might want to avoid. It may seem great to get a big check from the government, but a tax refund tells you that you've been overpaying your taxes and living on less of your paycheck throughout the year.

For example, if you got a $3,000 tax refund, you've been giving up $250 per month all year. Could having an extra $250 every month have helped with the bills? If you want to get that money now rather than later, you can adjust your withholding by giving your employer a new IRS Form W-4.

Frequently asked questions

According to the IRS, the agency issues most refunds within 21 days of filing online or six months of mailing your paper return, but a few circumstances could delay processing. Math errors or missing information are common culprits that can lead to longer waiting times. Here are a few more tax filing mistakes to look out for.

If you're due a refund, don't file an amended return until you receive the refund per the IRS. If you're not due a refund and need to correct a mistake, you can file an amended tax return using IRS Form 1040-X.

Yes. Simply provide your direct deposit account information on your Form 1040 or 1040-SR when you file. If you file IRS Form 8888 with your tax return, you can even tell the IRS to split the money up and deposit it into as many as three different accounts.

If you're behind on your taxes, the IRS will withhold what you owe from your federal tax refund. You'll get a letter from the IRS explaining what it adjusted.

One way is to qualify for more tax deductions and tax credits. They can be huge money-savers if you know what they are, how they work and how to pursue them.

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