Filed your taxes and expecting a refund? Here’s how to check the status and how long you may have to wait.

So, you’ve been proactive and turned in your tax return already or are planning to do so shortly. How do you check the status of your refund?

The IRS has a “Where’s My Refund” page on its website that lets tax filers know whether their return has been received if their refund has been approved and if payment is on its way. Refund status can also be checked on the IRS2Go mobile app.

“Where’s My Refund” users will be asked to enter their social security number (which will be hidden except for the final four digits), their filing status (single, married, etc.), and the amount they are expecting from their refund.


Those who regularly file their taxes online and are set up with direct deposit are most likely to get their refunds the fastest — the IRS says within 21 days, assuming there are no problems. The IRS says those who e-file will generally be able to use the “Where’s My Refund” page within about 24 hours of submission.

Those who choose to mail in their return and are expecting a mailed check should be prepared for a significantly longer wait to use the tool. The IRS says on its “Where’s My Refund” page that the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to processing delays for all mailed documents. 

When should you call the IRS? The agency says if it’s been more than 21 days since you e-filed or if the “Where’s My Refund” site tells you to call the IRS, then you should contact them.

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