If you’re eager to get your hands on your tax refund, here’s everything you need to track the status of it in 2019. Scroll past the state listings to see how you can speed up your refund and avoid falling for some common tax refund myths.
1. Where’s my refund? Track your IRS refund status (What info do I need?)
Click on the button to go right to the IRS’s refund tracker for federal tax refunds.
2. Where’s my state refund? How to track the status (Why isn’t my state listed?)
Click on your state below to go right to its refund tracker for state tax refunds.
Where’s my refund? Debunking 3 common myths about tax refund timing
Myth: Your IRS refund status will be “pending” for a long time because the IRS takes forever to issue a refund. Reality: You can speed up the process.
Two things can help.
- 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.
- 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. 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: You’ll be asking ‘Where’s my refund?’ for a while, because there’s no way to tell where your refund is until you get it. Reality: You can track your IRS refund status.
Once you’ve filed your return, you can track your IRS refund status and your state refund status (if you also are getting a tax refund from your state).
- If you file using tax software or through a tax pro, you can start tracking your IRS refund status 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.
Once you receive your refund, you’ll face the question of what to do with it. Paying down debt is a great idea; treating yourself a little bit is understandable as well. On the other hand, you might want to see about making your refund grow.
If that sounds interesting, a good place to start would be to open a brokerage account. We have advice on what steps to take and what really matters to investors just starting out in our 2019 roundup of the best brokers for beginner stock investors.