Again this year, the IRS Tax Refund Site, Where’s my Refund? is often overloaded. When you e-file, your tax return is usually accepted within 24 hours of filing by the IRS. Then your seemingly endless wait begins for the orange bar to move to approved. We are receiving reports daily from this year’s filers that their bars disappear completely a day or two before their tax return is approved and assigned a DDD or Mailed Check date.
If you’re Where’s My Refund? or IRS2Go Accepted and Approved Bars Have Disappeared PLEASE READ!
One way to determine if your refund is about to be approved is to go to the IRS website and request a tax transcript. The IRS has made the “Get Transcript Tool” available for users to be able to instantly view their transcripts Online if one is available. You can also call and request a transcript at 800-829-1040, however, creating a login and viewing your transcript online is the easiest way to track progress. You can check the status on your account daily if you view it online. Remember, It is a good sign if you are able to view or order them! The next step is translating the internal codes used by the IRS on your Tax Transcript. If you choose to request a 2016 transcript by mail, you should receive it via USPS within 5 to 10 days. Once you can view the transcripts either online or through the mail, check the tax codes and if you have an 846 code, it means your refund has been approved. The IRS website only updates once a day and typically there are no updates on Sunday.
This is an example of an Account Transcript
As highlighted in red above this Cycle #20170705 is the day your return posted to the IMF (Individual Master File) and began processing.
Processing Cycle for days of the week
Find your Cycle Date and determine the day the IRS began processing your Return
Here are the 2018 IRS Processing Cycles directly from the manual. We have made them easier to read in the spreadsheet above!
This is an example of an Account Transcript waiting for an 846 code to post after February 15 with PATH ACT message
This account transcript verifies that you have been accepted and are processing and you will not have a confirmation of your status until after February 15th. If more information is needed the IRS will send you a letter or you can view your transcript online to see further codes after February 15th. Until your Explanation of Transaction list shows an 846 Refund Issued code you are not guaranteed your refund on any certain date.
This is an example of an Account Transcript with more codes listed
While the IRS is processing your return the Explanation of Transactions can change at any time. These transactions will keep you updated with what is going on with your tax account more accurately than the Where’s my Refund website or App. If you have certain codes that are hold or freezes you can view your transcript online daily for updates. If you have a hold or freeze on your account you will have to wait for a release code to post to the transaction list before you would see an 846 refund issued code.
This is an example of a Completed Account Transcript with an 846 Refund Issued Code
If you view your online or mailed transcripts and you see the 846 Refund Issued code under the Explanation of Transactions list. Your return is done processing and you should be receiving a Direct Deposit or Paper Check within 5-10 days.
Common Tax Transcript Codes
- Code 150 tax return filed
- Code 570 more information needed
- Code 766 Reversal of refund applied to non-IRS debt Generated Refundable Credit Allowance or IRS TOP Offset Reversal w/OTN
- Code 766 Tax rebate Generated Refundable Credit Allowance or IRS TOP Offset Reversal w/OTN
- Code 766 Tax relief credit Generated Refundable Credit Allowance or IRS TOP Offset Reversal w/OTN
- Code 767 Reduced or removed credit to your account Generated Reversal of Refundable Credit Allowance or Rejected TOP Offset Reversal w/OTN A generated error correction which reverses a TC
- Code 766 credit allowance posted in error. Results from the appropriate line item adjustment of an Examination or DP Tax Adjustment with item reference 334 (199312-199411 only) for an installment of 1993 additional taxes.
- Code 767 Reduced or removed tax relief credit
- Code 767 w/OTN Reverses a prior posted TC 766, TOP offset reversal when input with the same offset trace number (OTN). Caution: This transaction must not be input except to correct a TC 766 on the FMS Reject Listing.
- Code 768 Earned income credit Earned Income Credit Posts Earned Income Credit which is generated from information received from Code and Edit.
- Code 810 Refund Freeze
- Code 811 Refund Release
- Code 820 Refund used to offset prior IRS Debt
- Code 836 Refund you chose to apply to next year’s taxes.
- Code 840 Manual Refund
- Code 846 Refund approved
- Code 898 Refund used to offset FMS Debt