What does my Tax Refund Status Mean?


Return Received/Accepted:

This simply means that the government has received your e-filed tax return. If you’re getting a refund, the next step is for the government to approve your refund before they can release it to you.
What this means for you:
  • Your return has been submitted to the IRS system for sequence. Your basic information related to your personal tax account like Name, Social Security Number, Address, and Filing status match what is on file with the IRS database.
  • This is a good sign if you see this bar highlighted you have entered all your personal information correctly.
  • If you get rejected and do not see this bar please go back and check all of your information and make sure all your personal information matches what is on file with the IRS database. Your tax preparer/ software should let you know if your return was approved or rejected within 24 hours of preparing your tax return.
  • The Return Received status may remain longer than you were expecting. You may have friends who had this status displayed on their page for only a few days and yours has remained much longer. Don’t Panic, it Happens.

The next step is to get your Refund Approved from the Internal Revenue Service.


This is what makes every person in America’s tax situation different. The process of this step could be 1 day from the time you are accepted or up to 1 week or more. It all depends on what things have changed on your tax return and if it is flagged for any reason. IRS computers will process your return and flag ones that don’t look right. As long as your information is entered correctly and matches all the information provided by employers or the source you made your money you should be alright. All returns computer verified or returns hand-checked all have to go in front of an IRS worker for approval. For a better chance of getting your refund approved quickly always enter honest information. False reported information is the top reason for audits and delays.

Refund Approved:

This means your refund was approved and the IRS is preparing your tax refund to be Direct Deposited or Mailed.
What this means for you:
  • Once your tax return has been processed and there were no errors, your refund gets approved. This means that the IRS agrees that your tax return is correct and they will issue you your refund.
  • If you see the Refund Approved bar highlighted your refund was approved by the IRS.
  • When your refund is approved the IRS will assign a refund date. This date is an accurate date and you can expect to get your refund by that day.

Refund Sent:

This means the IRS has sent your refund to your financial institution for direct deposit. This status will tell you when your refund was sent to your bank.
What this means for you:
  • If you had your tax refund direct deposited, it may take your bank or financial institution 1-5 days to deposit the tax refund money into your account. If instead, you opted to have your refund sent to you in the mail, by check, you should expect to wait up to a week longer.
  • Many people never make it to seeing this bar highlighted. If you see Refund Approved start checking your bank for your funds.

Tips to Know:

  • “Where’s My Refund? is updated no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight.” So this means we don’t need to crash their site checking multiple times a day. If we check each morning, we will see their most updated information.
  • If you catch yourself trying to check the “Where’s My Refund” website to many times per day it will block your Social Security Number/ IP Address for 24 Hours and give you a standard greeting. (If this happens you can always check the Phone Number)
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