Home Forums Where’s My Refund? Status Status Differences – Return Received, Accepted, Approved

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  • Refundtalk

    You can start using the WMR website or IRS2Go app to start checking on the status of your return 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. As the IRS processes your return it will progress through the 3 stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.

    Here are more details on each status and what each one means:

    Status Bar 1: Return Received is the same as “Return Accepted by the IRS.” This means that your tax return has passed initial screens by the IRS covering rudimentary fraud checks, verifying your SSN and ensuring no obvious red flags on your return.  Your tax return will remain in this status while the IRS processes it in more detail to ensure it is compliant and the refund amount is accurate. Your refund can remain in the status for a while if it is complex or the IRS feels the further information is needed.  The IRS is, however, saying it processes most returns in 21 days if your return is not flagged for further review.

    There is no need to follow-up with the IRS if the WMR tool shows the status of Return Received. If this status is showing, the IRS is processing your return and further calls or letters won’t speed up the process. There is no status of “under review” so sometimes your status may be stuck in this status (or even disappear) while the IRS completes its reviews

    Status Bar 2: Refund Approved status will appear if your tax return checks out and your return has been approved for payout by direct deposit or check. A personalized refund date will be provided and the WMR status will now be Refund Approved. If you elected the direct deposit (DD) option for your refund, you will get a date by which it should be credited to your account. While the IRS does promise that it will process most returns in under 21 days, it could take longer if complications come up. This delay is what frustrates most taxpayers as the IRS does at times provide limited information if errors in your return are spotted. While some information is provided on WMR and IRS2Go, the IRS will generally mail you for further detailed information. This could add days, weeks and even months if lots of additional information is needed. So ensure your tax return is as accurate when filing.

    Status Bar 3: Refund Sent as the name implies means the IRS has sent your refund to your nominated bank account(s). It will give you a specific date the refund was sent. Direct Deposit payment are generally processed within 5 days. I.e. the money will be in your bank available for withdrawal within 5 days of the refund sent date. Contact your bank or financial institution only if you have not received your return after 5 days of the IRS refund sent date. If you requested a paper check this means your check has been mailed and could take 7+ days for you to receive this via mail. It could take weeks if your mailing address is outside the US.

    Help! My WMR status bar has disappeared

    Per the IRS, the WMR tracker graphic may disappear or not be shown if your return falls under IRS review after it is received (Status Bar 1: Return Received) because additional information is needed for your return. An explanation or instructions will be provided depending on the situation. This can happen even if you previously checked WMR and it showed the status as “Return Received.” The IRS still has your return but things are essentially on hold until the IRS gets the additional information from you to continue processing your return. You will either get directions on WMR or IRS2Go or the IRS will contact you by mail. Follow the provided instructions and return any additional information ASAP to get your potential refund and reduce any further delays. Talk to your accountant, tax advocate or tax professional if you are not clear on what the IRS is asking for.

    Are you having issues with the Where’s my Refund? Portal? Share your updates here connect with others with the same or similar questions and answers.

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