Tax Time Guide: Use the Where’s My Refund? tool or IRS2Go app to conveniently check tax refund

The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers today that the fastest and easiest way to check on
tax refunds is by using the Where’s My Refund? tool on or through the IRS2Go mobile

This year, more than ever before, those who don’t normally have to file a tax return may wish to
do so to get child-related tax credits that were expanded by the American Rescue Plan. These
include the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit PDF.

Refund updates
Filing electronically and using direct deposit is the safest and fastest way to file an accurate return
and receive a tax refund. Taxpayers can use Where’s My Refund? to start checking their refund
status within 24 hours after an e-filed return is received or four weeks after the taxpayer mails a
paper return.

The tool’s tracker displays progress through three phases:

Return Received,
Refund Approved and
Refund Sent.
Refund timing
Most tax refunds are issued within 21 days, however, some may take longer. There are several
reasons this can happen:

The return includes a claim for the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit.
The time between the IRS issuing the refund and the bank posting it to an account may vary since
many banks do not process payments on weekends or holidays.
The return may require additional review.
The return may include errors or be incomplete.
The return could be affected by identity theft or fraud.

The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if more information is needed to process a return.

Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit
Due to changes to the tax law made by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act),
the IRS can’t issue Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds
before mid-February. This includes the entire refund, not just the part that’s related to the credit
claimed on a tax return.

Where’s My Refund? and IRS2Go are updated for most early EITC/ACTC filers with an estimated
deposit date by February 19, if they file their taxes early.

If a filer claimed the EITC or the ACTC, they can expect to get their refund March 1 if:

They file their return online,
They choose to get their refund by direct deposit and
No issues were found with their return.
Ignore refund myths
Some taxpayers mistakenly believe they can expedite their refund by ordering a tax transcript,
calling the IRS or calling their tax preparer. Ordering a tax transcript will not help a taxpayer get
their refund faster or find out when they’ll get their refund. The information available on Where’s
My Refund? is the same information available to IRS telephone assistors.

Taxpayers can find answers to questions, forms and instructions and easy-to-use tools at
This news release is part of a series called the Tax Time Guide, a resource to help taxpayers file an
accurate tax return. Additional help is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For
Individuals) PDF.

More resources:
Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications
Choosing a Tax Professional
IRS Free File
Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers

More Information


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