The IRS has instituted a simple method for checking the status of a individual's tax refund. "Where's My Refund" is what the IRS calls its tool which allows filers to check the status of their Federal Refund. In order to check this you must have first filed your return and it must have been received by the IRS. Status updates are typically only made every 24hrs, so you may also need to wait at least one day after receipt of the return prior to using the IRS Where's My Refund tool.
Twenty-one days or less is the "stated" turn-around time in which a filer should receive their refund. However, in practice many refunds are processed much more quickly than this; some in as little as 8 days. For this reason you may want to consider waiting until the 8th day before checking your refund’s status. Keep in mind that return timeframes are based on the receipt date and those who file by mail should add time to this estimate.
If you would like to check your status these are the items you will first need:
- Your social security number or tax ID number.
- The type of filing/marital status that was selected in the return (single, married filing jointly, head of household, etc)
- The exact refund amount you are anticipating, according to the tax return filling.
The IRS' Where's My Refund tool can be accessed in three different ways. Online, over the phone or using the IRS app (available for most Android deivces and Apple Iphone/Ipads).
Online, you can access information about your refund status by visiting to the webpage here - https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp and entering the personal information specified above.
The IRS Refund Hotline is also available for those who prefer to receive information over the phone. The phone number for this is 1-800-829-1954. Please note, for assistance in locating possible lost refunds please see our page on contacting the IRS .
Finally, the IRS now offers a mobile app version of the Where's My Refund tool, which fillers can
install and access on their Apple (here ) or Android (here ) devices.
With each of these access methods refund status updates occur once every twenty-four hours, usually at night. Calling, checking online or with the app once daily is enough. Checking more frequently will not prompt a quicker status update.
Where’s my State Refund? Tracking Down State Refunds:
There are 43 states that currently collect income taxes. Residents of many of these states who expect a refund now too have a means to find information on the status of their state refund just as with their federal. Similar to the IRS, several states also offer a "Where's My State Refund" tool. It is important to note, that the various avenues available to individuals for finding information on their state refund status do differ by state.
Tax refunds in individual states may also take longer to arrive in comparison with federal tax returns filed by mail or electronically. Most state governments issue refunds 21 days after receiving a return, some states may take even longer than this. Furthermore, some also take longer to issue refunds to first-time taxpayers. This is an important consideration for taxpayers who just moved to the state or taxpayers who recently started earning income and are filing for the first time.
Similar to the IRS, most state government websites require the exact expected refund and the individual's Social Security number and/or tax ID to access information. Occasionally, a state may also require information from the prior tax year and either a zip code or full mailing address of the tax payer.
Below you will find information for all 43 states on how to lookup the status of a refund. Their are also phone numbers and addresses listed for the various state departments in the case that you need to contact one of them regarding a missing refund, question or possible error:
State of Alabama DOR (Department of Revenue)
Gordon Persons Building
50 North Ripley Street Montgomery, AL 36104
Arizona DOR Income Tax Refunds