If you’re eagerly awaiting a refund from your 2022 federal income tax return, you might find yourself regularly checking your mailbox. When you’ll receive that all-important envelope from the IRS depends on when and how you filed your return, along with what you included in it. Instead of constantly checking your mailbox for a paper check, you can easily track the status of your refund online.
Simply visit IRS.gov/refunds and use the automated “Where’s My Refund?” system. Alternatively, download the IRS2Go app on your smartphone for the same information. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, or widowed), and the exact refund amount you’re expecting.
Tracking your IRS refund
You can begin tracking your IRS refund as soon as 24 hours after you e-file a return, or four weeks if you mailed it. Whether you’re checking from your computer or smartphone, you can monitor your return’s progress through the system. You’ll receive a message confirming receipt of your return, its processing status, and ultimately, whether a refund has been issued.
The IRS updates this information daily, typically overnight. As of April 7, the average refund amount was $2,878, a decrease from $3,175 during the same period the previous year.
The IRS states that nine out of ten refunds are processed within 21 days. If you’ve filed electronically and chosen direct deposit, your refund should reach your bank account swiftly. If it doesn’t appear within 21 days, you should contact the IRS. However, if you mailed your return and requested a paper check, you might need to wait up to eight weeks.
Reasons for Delay in Tax Refund
If your refund is taking longer than expected, a few possible reasons might be: Errors or Incomplete Return: The most common reason for a late refund is an error or incomplete information on your tax return. If the IRS requires more information to process your refund, they will contact you by mail. Beware of phone calls claiming to be from the IRS regarding issues with your taxes, as this is a common scam tactic.
Identity Theft: If a scammer has filed a fraudulent tax return in your name, you may receive a notice from the IRS. Respond immediately and submit Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit.
Debts: If you owe past-due federal or state income taxes, state unemployment compensation, child or spousal support, or other federal non-tax debts such as student loans, the IRS may reduce your refund. Claiming Certain Credits: If you qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), your refund might be delayed. The IRS can’t issue refunds for EITC or ACTC before mid-February. If you opted for direct deposit, most of these refunds should reflect in bank accounts by the first week of March.