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I Filed My Tax Return, Where's My Refund?

man holding hourglass If you paid more tax than you owed during the year, or if you claimed refundable credits, you will typically receive a tax refund. However, you won't get this money immediately after filing your individual or small business tax return. Instead, you will have to wait for the Internal Revenue Service to approve your return and release the tax refund to you.

How long will it take to get my refund?

According to the IRS, most refunds are received within 21 days after the IRS receives the tax return. However, in some cases, it may take longer for the IRS to release your refund check. Fortunately, the IRS offers an online tool that taxpayers can use to check the status of a pending tax refund. If you e-filed your return, the IRS recommends waiting to check the status of a tax refund for at least 24 hours after the return was received by the IRS. If you sent a hard copy of your tax return to the IRS by mail, the IRS recommends waiting for at least four weeks before checking your refund's status online.

Why is my refund late?

Your refund may arrive later than expected for several different reasons. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Errors on your tax return slowed its processing.
  • Your tax return is incomplete.
  • The IRS suspects identity theft or fraud in connection with your tax return.
  • Your tax return includes Form 8379.
  • The IRS is receiving a large volume of tax returns.

What should I do if I haven't received my refund?

If you e-filed your return, the IRS recommends calling for assistance if you still haven't received your refund after 21 days. If you mailed a hard copy your tax return to the IRS, you should call for assistance if you haven't received your tax refund after six weeks. In addition, all taxpayers should call for assistance if the IRS' online refund tracking tool instructs them to do so.

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