3 Ways to Track Your Federal Tax Refund

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If you have a tax refund coming, you probably feel it cannot arrive soon enough. Fortunately, the IRS gives you multiple ways to track the status of your cash.

Whether you prefer cutting-edge technology or are an old-fashioned type, the IRS has an option for you when it comes to tracking your federal tax refund.

In most cases, you shouldn’t have to wait too long. The IRS says it issues more than 90% of refunds in less than 21 days. But if you cannot wait, following are a few ways to see when your money should arrive.

When you can track a refund — and what you need to do it

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Before we get to the options for tracking your refund, it helps to understand a few facts. The status of your refund is updated once each day, during the overnight hours. So, you can check every day if you like.

To track your refund, you need three things:

  • Social Security or taxpayer ID number
  • Filing status
  • Exact refund amount on your return

Now, let’s look at the three ways you can track your refund status.

1. Go online

IRS tool for tax refunds
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The IRS offers a free online tool for checking refund status. It is called “Where’s My Refund?

You can use this tool 24 hours after you e-file your 2023 return. If you mailed your return, the IRS suggests waiting four weeks before checking the status of your refund.

2. Use the app

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You can also download the free IRS app IRS2Go to check the status of your refund. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices, and you can get it in English or Spanish.

The app also allows you to:

  • Make a payment.
  • Find free tax preparation assistance.
  • Sign up for helpful tax tips.

IRS2Go also can be used to generate security codes to log in to some IRS online services. Using the app in this way means you do not have to get security codes via text message.

3. Call the hotline

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Finally, those of us who prefer an old-school approach can check the status of our refund using the IRS automated refund telephone hotline. The number is 800-829-1954.

Just note that this number can only be used to check the status of your refund for the 2023 tax year. The other methods on this list allow you to check the status of refunds from previous years.

For more on what you should — and should not — do with your refund, check out:

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