How to track the status of your tax refunds amidst pandemic?

How to track the status of your tax refunds amidst pandemic?

How to track the status of your tax refunds amidst pandemic?

The pandemic COVID-19 has adversely affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans. With huge unemployment and economic crisis throughout the country, many Americans are looking forward to their Federal Tax refunds as a source of obtaining some money. The inquisitiveness among the taxpayers about “Where is my tax refund” is quite natural in such distressful times.

In general, the tax refund processing time is different for the different methods by which the tax refund has been filed.

  1. For those taxpayers who have filed their tax returns electronically with direct deposit, the tax returns are processed within 21 days of acceptance of the e-filing by the IRS.
  2. For those taxpayers who have filed their tax returns through paper, can expect their tax returns to be processed within 6weeks to 8 weeks of receipt of the return by the IRS.

 How can the status of tax return be checked?

The IRS tool “Where’s My Refund?” can be used by taxpayers to access the status of their tax returns.  To login into this IRS tool, there would be the need for three major pieces of information

  1. Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number
  2. Filing Status of the taxpayer
  3. The exact refund amount which the taxpayer would obtain

Moreover, taxpayers can access their tax return status from their mobile phones by using the app IRS2Go.  This app can be downloaded for free on Google Play, Amazon, etc. and can be used to check tax refund status, make a tax payment, or obtain any free tax assistance if needed.

When can taxpayers start checking their refund status?


Taxpayers can start checking the status of their tax returns within 24 hours after their tax return which has been filed electronically is received by the IRS.

In case the taxpayer had filed tax returns by paper medium, then his status would take around 4 weeks to reflect in the IRS system. So, the taxpayer should wait for 4 weeks before checking the status of his tax refund.

Information available on “Where’s My Refund” tool 

On the IRS tool “Where’s My Refund”, once the details are entered by the taxpayer, the screen would show up any of these three statuses.

a. Return Received

This would mean that the tax return has been received by the IRS and is being processed.  The taxpayer needs to wait for at least 21 days within which he would be receiving his tax returns.

b.Return Approved

 When the tax return status says “Return Approved” it means that the return request has been processed by the IRS and has been approved as well. This status is usually seen after three weeks of the “Return Received” status. 

The taxpayers can even see an estimated date by which their refund money would be deposited into their specified bank account. There can be instances in which the taxpayers do not receive their money on the estimated date; the IRS suggests the taxpayers facing such issues to first contact their bank to ensure that there are no problems associated with the account.

c.Refund Sent

When the status says “Refund sent” it means that the IRS has sent your tax refund to your bank account by direct deposit or has sent your check via mail. The date on which the return payment was sent must be mentioned in this tool. 

The taxpayers should keep in mind that even if the refund has been sent by the IRS, your bank would take at least 1-5 business days to deposit the money into your account. Also, if the return has been filed by paper means then the check would reach the taxpayer within several weeks via mail.

In case, the taxpayer owed some money to the IRS because of tax due, Federal Student Loan, or any other cause; then that amount would be reduced from the refund by the IRS. The IRS would inform you about any such deductions made from your refund on this webpage.

Status of Amended Tax Return

In case, amended returns have been filed by a taxpayer they would take up to around three weeks to reflect in the IRS system. Moreover, it would take 16 weeks or more for the processing of Amended tax returns.

Taxpayers can easily track the status of their Amended Tax return by the tool “Where’s My Amended Return” tool.  There are three statuses which can be seen for Amended Tax Return in this tool i.e. 

  1. Received – This means the taxpayer’s amended tax return has been received and is being processed.
  2. Adjusted – The status Adjusted means the IRS made adjustments into the account of the taxpayer.
  3. Completed – This means the tax refund has been processed by the IRS and all necessary information related to this has been mailed to the taxpayer.