People that have filed tax returns either electronically or in the mail can use an IRS online tool to check on the status of their tax refunds. The “Where’s My Refund” area of the revenue service’s website is designed to allow taxpayers to follow up on any rebate they may be waiting for. How does this service work and when can it be used?
What Does the IRS Income Tax Refund Tool do?
This area of the IRS website can be used to check on the status of tax rebates after a return has been filed. Taxpayers are asked to enter certain pieces of information into an online form which will then direct them to the information they need to know on when their rebate may be paid.
When can “Where’s My Refund” be used?
The IRS recommends different timescales for those that have filed online and those that have mailed their returns to check refund status. These are:
• 72 hours after using an e-file tax return service.
• 3-4 weeks after mailing a tax return.
These timelines are general and may not apply to everyone using the service. The system handles returns that have been filed this year and in the last six months of last year.
What information is needed to check the status of tax refunds online?
Accessing information on refund status will involve inputting the following data:
• Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
• Filing status (i.e. the type of tax return that has been filed).
• The refund amount listed on the original return.
All of this information can be found on a tax return, and the tool gives guidance on where to find each element if necessary.
Does the IRS website give information on all tax return refunds?
This online refund status tool can’t be used by every individual. It won’t, for example, give information on refunds for those that have filed:
• Form 1040X (an amended tax return)
• Business tax returns
The information given will also be based on the latest tax return that has been filed in terms of tax year and not filing date.
Filing online speeds up the tax refund process
It is estimated that those that mailed in their tax returns will have to wait up to six weeks to have them processed and a refund sent out. Those that filed online may have speeded up the process. Those returns are estimated to be dealt with in three weeks.
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