Advertiser Disclosure

Where Is My Tax Refund?

Here's everything you need to track your federal tax refund and your state tax refund -- plus 3 myths about tax refund timing.
Feb. 20, 2018
Income Taxes, Taxes
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

If you’re eager to get your hands on your tax refund, here’s everything you need to track it. Scroll past the state listings to see how you can speed up your refund and avoid falling for some common tax refund myths.

1. Track your federal refund   (What info do I need?)

Click on the button to go right to the IRS’s refund tracker for federal tax refunds.


2. Track your state refund   (Why isn’t my state listed?)

Click on your state below to go right to its refund tracker for state tax refunds.


Debunking 3 common myths about tax refund timing

Myth: The IRS takes forever to issue a refund.
Reality: You can speed up the process. 

Two things can help.

  1. Avoid filing your return on paper — the IRS typically takes six to eight weeks to process those returns. Instead, file electronically — those returns are processed in about three weeks.
  2. When you file your return, tell the IRS to deposit a refund directly into your bank account instead of sending a paper check. That cuts the time in waiting for the mail. You even can have the IRS split your refund across your retirement, health savings, college savings or other accounts so that you don’t fritter it away.

Myth: There’s no way to tell where your refund is until you get it.
Reality: You can monitor it.

Once you’ve filed your return, you can track your refund with the IRS and your state (if you also are getting a refund from your state).

  • If you file using tax software or through a tax pro, you can start tracking your federal refund 24 hours after the IRS receives your return. (On mailed returns, you’ll have to wait four weeks.)
  • If you haven’t received a refund after at least 21 days of e-filing or six weeks of mailing your paper return, you can go to a local IRS office or call the federal agency at 800-829-1040 and have someone look into it. But that won’t fast-track your refund, according to the IRS.

Myth: Refund theft gets corrected quickly once you file your real return.
Reality: Don’t expect a quick resolution.

Thefts of refunds generally happen when fraudsters access a taxpayer’s personal information and file a fake tax return under the person’s name in order to pocket the refund. If you fall victim to such fraud, it can delay your refund. But there are ways to cope. Be patient — a typical case of refund theft can take four months to resolve, and complicated cases can take even longer, according to the IRS.

More articles about tax refunds