When you are expecting a tax refund, it is normal to file a little bit early.
The very next thing you say once you file is “where’s my refund?” We can’t wait to get that money owed to us.
Indeed, many people have already received their tax refunds.
When you get refunded depends on two main factors:
- How you filed (mail or e-file)
- How you receive your refund (paper check or direct deposit)
If you mail in your tax return, and opt to receive your refund in the form of a check from the United States Treasury, it can take as long as two months or more to see your tax rebate.
This is the combination that takes the longest.
You can speed things up if you decide to e-file when receiving a paper check, or to get your tax refund via direct deposit if you mail in your return.
However, it still might take as much as a month to get your tax refund.
In order to get your tax refund in the shortest possible time, you should e-file and opt for direct deposit. You can get your tax refund in as little as seven days when you do this.
If you are going for speed, the fastest way to get your money is to e-file and get direct deposit.
Checking the Status of Your Refund
The IRS has a handy tool that allows you to easily check the status of your refund.
You should be aware, though, that the tool won’t work if your return isn’t already in the system. If you mail a paper return to the IRS, it can take more than a week or two to get your return in the system so that you can check the status of your refund. If you e-file, though, you can look up your refund status after 72 hours.
Here is what you need in order to use the IRS “Where’s My Refund?” feature:
- Your Social Security Number or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
- Your filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, etc.)
- The whole dollar amount of your refund, as shown as your tax return
Once you fill that information in, you will receive information about whether or not your return was received, and whether or not it is processing. You will also find out what date your rebate will be deposited into your account, or mailed out to you.
If there has been a problem, such as a mistake in the address, or the bank account number, you can find out about it from this tool. You will be notified of what you need to do to correct the problem to get your tax refund. You can even start a refund trace from this tool if you have not received your refund within 28 days of the original mail date listed at “Where’s My Refund?”
Update: The IRS now has a mobile app you can use use on iPhones (available in the Apple App Store) or Android phones (in the Android Marketplace). It’s called IRS2GO.
I gave the tool a shot to see how well it worked.
I entered my social security number, filing status, and the dollar amount of my expected refund (you do have to enter the actual amount, I tried a different amount and it didn’t work).
As advertised, the date my refund was expected to be deposited was given. I’m a little disappointed I have to wait a little longer, but I also had to mail in my refund this year in order to take the first-time homebuyer tax credit.
The digital age has made tracking your refund easier than ever, especially if you e-file. Take advantage of this technology to find out when you will get your refund quickly and easily.