With the, you have some extra time to , if you haven’t done so already. This gives you and the IRS some wiggle room now that the . On the other hand, if you’ve filed already, your refund is likely due any day now. However, the is and causing delays with the IRS, which could affect your refund arrival — and even (more on that ).
You can begin checking the status of your 2020 tax return online 24 hours after filing to find out when your check could arrive. There are actually two ways to track your refund, and we’ll explain both.
Our chart below also lists some dates your refund could appear, depending on when you filed. But if you still need to file, we suggest avoid sending in a paper return this year. We also recommend to get your refund sooner. (And this is everything we know so far about a , and here are .) This story was updated recently., since e-filing is more convenient for both you and the IRS — the agency is asking people to
Here are 2 easy ways to check your 2020 tax refund status online
You need several things on hand to track the status of your tax refund: your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status — for example, single, married or head of household — and your exact refund amount in whole dollars, which can be found on your tax return.
Using the IRS tool Where’s My Refund, enter your Social Security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Send. If you entered your information correctly, you’ll be taken to a page that shows the status of your refund. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.
There’s also a mobile app, called IRS2Go, that you can use to check your tax refund status. The IRS updates the data in this tool overnight each day, so if you don’t see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the next day.
Your IRS tax return status definition: Received, Approved, Sent
Both the IRS tools (online and mobile) will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.
- Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
- Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if you’re owed one.
- Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit, or as a paper check to your mailbox. (Here’s how to .)
When could your tax refund arrive? Some ideal dates
The IRS says it issues most tax refunds within 21 days, but many people typically get their refunds much sooner. However, this year, the IRS is reportedly facing delays complicated by (here’s more on ). If there are any errors, it might take the agency longer to process and issue your tax refund. The same goes for people who filed a claim for an Earned Income Tax Credit or the (here’s ).
The date you get your tax refund also depends on how you filed your return. For example, with refunds going, it could take an additional five days for your bank to post it to your account. This means if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to post it, you may be waiting a total of 26 days to get your money.
However if your tax return is being sent by mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. That’s where tracking your refund comes in handy. Here are some possible dates when you could receive your refund depending on when you filed.
When your tax refund could arrive, without a delay
|If you file on this date||This is the soonest||This is the latest|
|Mar 1||Mar 8||Mar 22|
|Apr 1||Apr 8||Apr 22|
|Apr 15||Apr 22||May 6|
|May 17 (last day to file)||May 24||Jun 7|
|Oct 15 (last day with extension)||Oct 22||Nov 5|
It’s past the ‘latest’ date for your tax refund to arrive. Should you contact the IRS for more information?
While you can call the IRS to check your status, the agency’s live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time, so you may wait on hold for a while to speak to a representative. Also, the IRS says you should only call if it’s been 21 or more days since you filed your taxes online or if the Where’s My Refund tool tells you to contact the IRS.
For more information about your taxes, here’s when the, and everything to know about the .