By Glenn Tyndall, CPA, Realtor
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You worked hard all year. You kept all your receipts. You've filed your tax return that indicates you'll get a large refund this year. So where's your refund check?
The IRS processes hundreds of millions of tax returns each year, and a few refund checks will get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes taxpayer's returns contain incorrect information that's holding up that refund check. The most common mistake that people make when filing their tax returns are they make a typo - an incorrect social security number, bank deposit or routing number, or mailing address will cause a delay.
Whether your refund is lost, is on the way, or was never issued, the IRS has three ways to check your refund status. You'll need to have your Social Security Number, Filing Status, and Refund Amount to get your refund status report.
The IRS has gone mobile with IRS2Go. IRS2Go is a smartphone application that lets you check on the status of your refund with the IRS using your mobile device. You can find the free IRS2Go app at the Apple App Store and the Android Market.
Using the "Where's My Refund?" webpage, you may get a prompt that lets you know that the U.S. Postal Service returned your refund check to the IRS as undeliverable. The IRS online tracker allows some taxpayers to correct or change their mailing addresses online.
For refunds mailed at least 28 days earlier, you can use the "Where's My Refund?" program to begin tracing your refund. You'll have to complete IRS Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund to get the replacement process started. The IRS must also verify that you're refund check is lost or stolen before they'll issue another refund check.
The IRS directly deposits many refunds into taxpayers' bank accounts. This usually occurs within 8 - 14 days of filing. Before spending too much time calling the IRS or completing tax returns, review your bank statement closely to make sure that refund didn't slip by you.
You can see a sample of our report, how the whole process works, and even get an idea of our fees for service.