The IRS says tax refunds could take longer than expected to process this year. Use the Where’s My Refund tool to find out if yours is delayed.
If you beat the tax deadline for filing your taxes but still haven’t received your refund, you’re not alone. The IRS is experiencing more refund delays than usual for several reasons, from recalculating taxes paid on unemployment benefits to sending out weekly batches of stimulus payments.
All hope isn’t lost. The agency gives you the option to check your tax refund status online. By using the IRS tools, you’ll be able to see if there’s an issue with your refund or if it’s on its way. (You could also try calling the IRS for help, but the agency warned that phone assistance is “extremely limited.”) We’ll tell you how to go about finding your money.
If your third stimulus check is missing, we can help — there are ways to track that payment. You might want to check if the government has back wages you need to claim. If you have children, here’s how to calculate how much money you might get through the expanded child tax credits this year. We updated this story recently.
Why are there tax refund delays?
Because of the pandemic, the IRS ran at limited capacity in 2020, which put a strain on its ability to process tax returns and send out stimulus checks. The IRS is now open again and processing mail, tax returns, payments, refunds and correspondence, the agency said, but the pandemic continues to cause delays in some services.
The IRS said it’s issuing most refunds in less than 21 days right now but some are taking longer, including for mailed paper tax returns. The IRS said it’s also taking longer than 21 days to issue refunds for some 2020 tax returns that require review, such as determining recovery rebate credit amounts for the first and second stimulus checks or figuring earned income tax credit and additional child tax credit amounts.
How can you check the status of your refund online?
To check the status of your income tax refund using the IRS trackers, you need several things on hand: 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. Also, make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before you try tracking your refund.
Using the IRS tool Where’s My Refund, enter your SSN or ITIN, your filing status and your exact refund amount, then press Submit. If you entered your information correctly, you’ll 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.
The IRS also has a mobile app, called IRS2Go, that checks your tax refund status. The IRS updates the data in this tool overnight, so if you don’t see a status change after 24 hours or more, check back the following day. ReadMore
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