is well underway, and it can be stressful under the best of circumstances. This year is even more complicated for many people whose circumstances have changed due to the . While is typically the time to collect the money you overpaid throughout the year, this year, you can also expect to get refunded any you claimed as a . If you've already and it's been at least 24 hours, you can start tracking your refund status. Use our chart below to help determine when your refund could arrive.
If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you should consider filing online -- the IRS is asking you to avoid sending in a paper return due to a backlog from last year's , a result of the pandemic. It's also encouraged that you to speed up your refund process. Note that the IRS could still , as requested by Congress, but there's still no update on that.
Below, you'll find which IRS tools to use to track your 2020 refund status. Remember thismore than just your refund and missing stimulus money -- it could decide your for a of or if you'll get a . Here's and how it'll likely , . This story was recently updated.
How to track the status of your tax refund: Use these two IRS tools
You need several things on hand to track the status of your tax refund: your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, your filing status -- for example, single, married or head of household -- and your exact refund amount in whole dollars, which can be found on your tax return.
Using the IRS tool Where's My Refund, enter your Social Security number or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Send. If you entered your information correctly, you'll be taken to a page that shows the status of your refund. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you'll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with how you filed -- either electronically or on paper.
There's also a mobile app you can use to check your tax refund status called IRS2Go. The IRS updates the data in this tool overnight each day, so if you don't see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the next day.
Received, approved or sent: Here's what your tax refund status means
Both the IRS tools (online and mobile) will show you one of three messages to explain your current tax return status.
- Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
- Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if you're owed one.
- Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank through direct deposit, or as a paper check to your mailbox. (Here's how to .)
When will your tax refund arrive? We have a few ideas
The IRS says it issues most tax refunds within 21 days, but many people will get their refunds far sooner. If there are any errors, it might take the agency longer to process and issue your tax refund. The same goes for people who filed a claim for an Earned Income Tax Credit or the.
The date you get your tax refund also depends on how you filed your return.
For example, if the refund is going, it could take an additional five days for your bank to post it to your account. This means if it took the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to post it, you may be waiting a total of 26 days to get your money. That's where tracking your refund comes in handy.
If it's being sent by mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive. Here are some possible dates when you could receive your refund depending on when you filed.
When your tax refund could arrive
|If you file on this date||This is the soonest||This is the latest|
|Feb. 14||Feb. 21||March 7|
|March 1||March 8||March 22|
|April 1||April 8||April 22|
|April 15 (last day to file)||April 22||May 6|
|Oct. 15 (last day with extension)||Oct. 22||Nov. 5|
Here's when you should call the IRS to check the status of your tax refund
While you can call the IRS to check your status, the agency's live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time, so you may wait on hold for a while to speak to a representative. Also, the IRS says you should only call if it's been 21 or more days since you filed your taxes online or if the Where's My Refund tool tells you to contact the IRS.
For more information about your taxes, here's when the, and .