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IRS tax refund tracker: 3 ways to track your return status in 2020

IRS tax refund tracker: 3 ways to track your return status in 2020
[Photo: Alexander Mils/Unsplash]

It’s that time of year when taxpayers across the country are waiting patiently for the United States government to repay them money they’re owed. If you’ve filed your federal taxes and want to know the status of your tax refund, you can easily do that with the IRS “Where’s my refund?” tool. Here’s a rundown of how it works:

When can I track my refund?

Twenty-four hours after you file electronically. That’s it! If you file your taxes online, just wait a day, and the IRS should know what’s happening with your money. If you file by mail, it takes a little longer—four weeks. The IRS updates the information nightly.

What information do I need to track my refund?

  • Your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
  • Your filing status
  • Your exact refund amount

What methods may I use to track my refund?

  • IRS.gov: This is the easiest way. Find it here.
  • IRS2Go mobile apps: You can track your return on your iOS or Android mobile device. Find it here.
  • IRS Refund Hotline: You can check your status by phone at 1-800-829-1954, but be prepared to wait—the IRS gets busy this time of year.

What the heck is taking so long?

The IRS says you should get your refund within 21 days if you e-file, but many factors can delay the process. Visit the bureau’s frequently asked questions page for information.

I got an email from the ‘IRS.’ What should I do?

Delete it! Scams aimed at taxpayers abound this time of year, typically with the goal of stealing your personal data or identity. The IRS says explicitly that it doesn’t email or text taxpayers out of the blue, nor will it send you messages on social media. Visit this page if you think you’ve been the victim of a scam.

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