If you filed a 2020 tax return and are expecting a refund from the IRS, you may want to find out the status of the refund or at least get an idea of when you might receive it. You can start checking on the status of your refund within 24 hours after the IRS has received your electronically-filed return or 4 weeks after you mailed a paper return. Currently you might be waiting a bit longer to receive it due to the effects of COVID-19, new tax law changes, and possible errors made on the tax return. However, here are the best ways to find the status of a refund:
Also see “Tax Season Refund Frequently Asked Questions” for what these applications can tell you and what they can’t.
Do not call the IRS unless instructed by the application to call. These online tools are updated every 24 hours and truly are the best way to get your refund status.
What you will need to use the above tools
- Social security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
- Your filing status
- Your exact refund amount
Be aware of processing delays
Again, this year some tax returns with errors or items on the return that need an IRS correction due to a tax law change are taking longer than the normal timeframes to process, so expect delays. In a nutshell, it is taking the IRS more than the normal 21 days to issue refunds for some 2020 tax returns that require review, including but not limited to, incorrect Recovery Rebate Credit amounts, or that used 2019 income to figure the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC).
See our NTA blogs titled “2021 Filing Season Bumps in the Road: Part I,” “2021 Filing Season Bumps in the Road: Part II” and the IRS’s Operational Status page, question and answer titled: Filed an Individual Tax Return (Form 1040) for tax year 2019 or tax year 2020, a Business Tax Return or an Amended Return (updated May 7, 2021) for details of why delays may occur.
For more information about finding refunds, visit our Refunds Get Help center. It has information, including step-by-step actions to follow, for the following topics:
We also have an Issues and Errors Get Help center, with information on how to address the following topics: