The new tax season is coming. If you've filed your federal income tax return, you can check the status of your refund by visiting the IRS "Where’s My Refund?" website or its mobile app "IRS2GO."
When can you check the status of your federal tax refund?
- When Refund Schedule has your return estimated.
- 4 weeks after you mail your paper return
- "Where’s My Refund?" is updated once every 24 hours
What do you need to check the federal refund status?
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Tax Filing Status
- Your total refund amount before any fees.
How do you check your federal refund status online?
First of all, open the IRS "Where’s My Tax Refund?" website in a standard web browser.
Then click on the "Check My Refund Status" link on the page and provide your Social Security Number, tax filing status and total refund amount. Click on the "Submit" button so you will get your refund status.
You can also use the IRS2Go App to check the refund status on your mobile phone.
FAQs about your refund status types:
What does it mean when my refund status is still processing?
The most likely reason for a "Still Processing" status is that there is a problem with your tax return. Typically, the IRS has frozen your refund and it has been sent over to the IRS Error Resolution Department. Unless action is taken, your tax return could sit in this refund status for months before you receive any type of notification from the IRS. Start monitoring today to see if this is the case and get notified.
What is happening when the bar is missing, gone, or disappeared?
You were all set to receive your tax refund once your tax refund status said "Refund Approved"! It's been over 21 days and you’re still waiting for your refund. So, you decided to check "Where’s My Refund?" again. Now, your refund status bar has disappeared or gone missing in action. You’re back to "still processing"! Now, what?
The most likely reason for your refund status bar to revert back to a "still processing" status is a potential problem with your tax return. Typically, the IRS has frozen your refund and it has been sent over to the IRS Error Resolution Department. Until action is taken, your tax return could remain in this frozen refund status for months before you receive any type of notification from the IRS.
What does it mean when my refund status says take action?
Most of the time when people see this "Take Action" refund status the first question they have is: "Am I being audited?". Typically, the answer to this question is YES! And the IRS wants more information. When you encounter a "Take Action" refund status you need the help of a tax professional to guide you through the process.
What does it mean when my refund status says sent?
Congratulations! You navigated the IRS successfully this year. However, sometimes the IRS can give a "Refund Sent" refund status and your tax refund never shows up. In this case, the IRS believes that you have received your tax refund and that there is nothing else to be done for this tax year.
What does it mean when my refund status says fms or past due obligation?
If you check "Where’s My Refund?" and your tax refund status says "refund applied to pay past due obligation such as child support, another federal agency debt, or state income tax". Most commonly this is a result of the taxpayer or spouse having past due child support obligations or student loan debt in default. You should receive a notice outlining the details.
Just because you owe a debt or have past due debts does not mean that you’re not entitled to a refund:
• In situations where a couple is married and one spouse owes a debt and the other spouse does not, this is referred to as an "Injured Spouse".
• In a situation where a student loan is delinquent, this is referred to as being in "default".
What does it mean when my refund status says it is reduced to pay a past due obligation?
When you check "Where’s My Refund?" and your tax refund status says "Refund Reduced to Pay a Past Due Obligation", don’t just assume that everything is right. The IRS makes mistakes every day and their systems must communicate and apply everything accurately for your IRS account to be correct.