Taxes

Here's How Easy it is to Track Your Tax Return

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Tax season is here and many people could see a delay in seeing their tax refund this year.

Luckily, the IRS has an online tool called “Where’s My Refund” that helps taxpayers track the status of their tax return. Betsy Badell and Rob Michaelson explain what it does and what changes you can expect this year.

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Tracking Your Refund

Rob: Betsy, getting my tax refund is like being a kid on Christmas morning, except the money was technically already mine and there's nothing to unwrap, but still it's nice to get that little extra on my bank account.

Betsy: It's like a little savings, right? And we're all waiting for it because we've worked really hard over the year. The IRS, if you're trying to track where your refund is because there have been a few delays this year and the tax returns, they have a site called "Where's My Refund?" This will help you find out just that.

How It Works

Rob I like how they literally named the tool after its purpose. But how soon can you start using it after you file your return?

Betsy: If you filed your tax returns online, you may access it as soon as 24 hours after you filed. But if you filed via regular mail, you're going to have to wait about four weeks. There's an app that you can use on your phone. Call the IRS that go this app you may use to track it on your mobile device. Updates are made daily, usually overnight. The system or the tool will update you on the return is received and the refund is approved or when the return is set.

What You Need

Rob: So do I need to sign up for an account or anything or provide any other additional information to use this service?

Betsy: All you need is your Social Security number or your ITIN number. The filing status and the exact refund amount.

What If There Is A Delay?

Rob: All right. That's how this all sounds easy enough. But what if it's taking a little longer than it should, or there's some other issues that come up?

Betsy: Well, if it's been 21 days or more since you filed your tax returns online, it's time that you contact the IRS directly and find out what's going on. Sometimes the online tool will also you tell you to contact them directly in case there are any issues with your tax return. Keep in mind that this year there have been delays reported with the IRS, but it's best that you stay on top and track your refund and find out what's going on sooner rather than later by contacting the IRS directly.

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