When You'll Get Your Tax Refund and How to Track It (2023)

This story is part of Taxes 2023, CNET's coverage of the best tax software, tax tips and everything else you need to file your return and track your refund.

Tax season 2023 kicked off when the IRS began accepting 2022 tax returns on Jan. 23. You've got until April 18 to get it done, but filling your taxes early can provide several benefits, including getting your tax refund faster.

When You'll Get Your Tax Refund and How to Track It (1)

The IRS says that it issues tax refunds in less than 21 days for more than 90% of tax returns. The fastest way to get your money is with direct deposit; the slowest is with a paper check in the mail -- that will take about six to eight weeks.

Once you've filed your tax return and it's working its way through IRS processing, you don't have to sit in the dark waiting. A couple of free tools can help you track the progress of your tax return and estimate the arrival of your tax refund so that you can financially plan for your influx of cash.

The quickest way to monitor your tax refund is with an official IRS tax tool called Where's My Refund?. It will also let you know if your return has beenrejected by the IRS because of errors. Read on to learn all about tracking your tax refund and the meaning of all the different IRS and bank codes.

For more tax tips, learn about filing your taxes on a phone or tablet and be sure to check out the best tax software for 2023.

How do I track my tax refund using Where's My Refund?

To use theIRS tracker tools, you'll need to provide your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; your filing status (single, married or head of household); and your refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return.

(Video) How To Officially Track Your Tax Refund! (It's So EASY!)

Make sure it's been at least 24 hours before you start tracking your refund, or up to four weeks if you mailed your return.

Go to theGet Refund Statuspage on the IRS website and enter your personal data, then pressSubmit. You should be taken to a page that shows your refund status. If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you'll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.

How do I find a tax refund from a previous year?

The Where's My Refund tool lists the federal refund information the IRS has from the past two years. If you're looking for return details from previous years, you'll need to check yourIRS online account.

From there, you'll be able to see the total amount you owe, your payment history, key information about your most recent tax return, notices you've received from the IRS and your address on file.

Use the IRS2Go app to track your tax return

When You'll Get Your Tax Refund and How to Track It (2)

The IRS also has a mobile app calledIRS2Gothat can monitor your tax refund status. It's available for both iOS and Android and in English and Spanish.

In the app you're able to see if your return was been received and approved and if a refund was sent.

(Video) How do I check my tax refund status?

To log in, you'll need your Social Security number, filing status and the expected amount of your refund. The IRS updates the app overnight, so if you don't see a status change, check back the following day.

What are the possible statuses of my tax return?

Both IRS tools (online and mobile app) will show you one of three messages to explain your tax return status.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed the amount of your refund, if you're owed one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check sent to your mailbox. (Here's how tochange the address on file if you've moved.)

Why does Where's My Refund Show 'Tax Topic 152' or an IRS error message?

Although the Where's My Refund tool typically shows a status of Received, Approved or Sent, there are a variety of other messages some users may see.

One of the most common is Tax Topic 152, indicating you're likely getting a refund but it hasn't been approved or sent yet. The notice simply links out to an informational topic page on the IRS FAQ website explaining the types and timing of tax refunds.

The delay could be an automated message for taxpayers claiming the child tax credit or earned income tax credit sent because of additional fraud protection steps.

Tax Topic 151means your tax return is now under review by the IRS. The agency either needs to verify certain credits or dependents, or it has determined that your tax refund will be reduced to pay money that it believes you owe.

(Video) How to Track Your Tax Refund - Presented By TheStreet + TurboTax

You'll need to wait about four weeks to receive a notice from the IRS explaining what you need to do to resolve the status.

There are other IRS refund codes that a small percentage of tax filers receive, indicating freezes, math errors on tax returns or undelivered checks. The College Investor offers alist of IRS refund reference codes and errorsand their meaning.

Can I call the IRS to check on my tax refund?

While you could try calling the IRS to check your status, the agency'slive phone assistanceis extremely limited.

The IRS is directing taxpayers to theLet Us Help You page on its website and to get in-person help at Taxpayer Assistance Centers around the country. You cancontact your local IRS officeor call to make an appointment: 844-545-5640. You can also contact theTaxpayer Advocate Service if you're eligible for assistance by calling: 877-777-4778.

Though the chances of getting live assistance are slim, the IRS says you should only call the agency directly if it's been 21 days or more since you filed your taxes online, or if theWhere's My Refundtool tells you to. You can call 800-829-1040 or 800-829-8374 during regular business hours.

If you have not received a refund yet, you shouldn't file a second tax return.


What does "IRS TREAS 310" mean on my bank statement?

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may seeIRS TREAS 310listed in the transaction. The 310 code simplyidentifies the transactionas a refund from a filed tax return in the form of electronic payment. You may also seeTAX REFin the description field for a refund.

If you see a449instead of310, it means your refund may have been offset for delinquent debt.

Why was my tax refund mailed instead of being deposited in my bank account?

There are a couple of reasons that your refund would be mailed to you. Your money can only be electronically deposited into a bank account with your name, your spouse's name or a joint account. If your bank rejected the deposit for some reason, it may be the next best way to get your refund.

In addition, the IRS can only direct deposit up to three refunds to one account, so if you are getting multiple refund checks they will have to be mailed. If you're receiving a refund check in the mail, learn how totrack it from the IRS to your mailbox.

It's important to note that direct deposit isn't always automatic for refunds. To be certain, sign in to your IRS account to check that the agency has your correct banking information.

How do I track a tax refund check in the mail?

The US Postal Service'sInformed Deliveryservice is a free mail-tracking program that scans incoming letters and sends you an image when they are about to be delivered.

Informed Delivery has free apps forAndroidandiOS.

(Video) Tax refund track


How do you track when you will get your tax refund? ›

Use the Where's My Refund tool or the IRS2Go mobile app to check your refund online. This is the fastest and easiest way to track your refund. The systems are updated once every 24 hours. You can call the IRS to check on the status of your refund.

How long does it take the IRS to trace a refund? ›

(1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved, and (3) Refund Sent. Where's My Refund? is updated no more than once every 24 hours, usually overnight, so you don't need to check the status more often. The IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days.

What day of the week does IRS deposit refunds 2022? ›

IRS Refund Schedule for Direct Deposits and Check Refunds

They now issue refunds every business day, Monday through Friday (except holidays). Due to changes in the IRS auditing system, they no longer release a full schedule as they did in previous years.

How long are tax refunds taking 2022? ›

The IRS said 9 out of 10 taxpayers typically receive refunds in less than 21 days if they electronically file a tax return, the return has no big mistakes or issues and the taxpayer opts for direct deposit of their refund.

Can I track my refund after its been accepted? ›

Once your return is accepted, you are on the IRS' refund timetable. The IRS typically issues refunds in less than 21 days after your e-filed return is accepted. You can use the IRS Where's My Refund? tool or call the IRS at 800-829-1954 to check on the status of your refund, beginning 24 hours after you e-file.

Why is my refund still processing after 3 months? ›

Reasons Your Tax Refund Can Be Delayed

Missing information. A need for additional review. Possible identity theft or tax fraud. A claim for an earned income tax credit or an additional child tax credit.

How fast are refunds coming back in 2022? ›

The IRS says that it issues tax refunds in less than 21 days for more than 90% of tax returns. The fastest way to get your money is with direct deposit; the slowest is with a paper check in the mail -- that will take about six to eight weeks.

Why has my refund been accepted but not approved? ›

An incomplete return, an inaccurate return, an amended return, tax fraud, claiming tax credits, owing certain debts for which the government can take part or all of your refund, and sending your refund to the wrong bank due to an incorrect routing number are all reasons that a tax refund can be delayed.

Why are 2022 refunds taking so long? ›

At the end of 2021, IRS had a backlog of about 10.5 million paper returns and returns stopped for errors. As shown in the figure, IRS addressed its backlog of 2021 paper returns. However, as of late September 2022, IRS had about 12.4 million returns to process, resulting in refund delays for millions of taxpayers.

What does it mean when the IRS can't track your refund? ›

If the IRS is saying you can't track your return, there are some reasons why you aren't seeing the status of your return yet. Here are the usual reasons: Your e-filed return was accepted (received) by the IRS less than 24 hours ago. Make sure you wait at least 24 hours after acceptance before using WMR.

How long does it take IRS to investigate? ›

The IRS usually starts these audits within a year after you file the return, and wraps them up within three to six months. But expect a delay if you don't provide complete information or if the auditor finds issues and wants to expand the audit into other areas or years.

How do I know if the IRS took money from my refund? ›

If you need more information on the offset, contact the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS) at 800-304-3107 (or TTY/TDD 866-297-0517) to find out where Treasury applied your tax refund.


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