Where Is Your Tax Refund?

Tools for Checking the Status of a Federal or State Tax Refund

© The Balance, 2018

Using the tools listed below, it's possible to check on the status of a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service or from a state tax department.

How to Check the Status of a Federal Tax Refund

  • Via the IRS Web site, using the Web application.
  • Via telephone, by calling the IRS's Refund Hotline at 1-800-829-1954 (this is a toll-free number).
  • Via mobile phone application, (available for Android and iOS devices).

The IRS updates their computer systems once a day, usually at night. Information relating to your federal refund can be available as soon as 24 hours after the IRS receives an electronically-filed tax return or about four weeks after receiving a paper-filed tax return (, pdf).

Typical Processing Times for Federal Refunds

The Internal Revenue Service typically issues tax refunds within 21 days of receiving the tax return, if the tax return was filed electronically. (, IRS.gov)

For paper tax returns that are mailed to the IRS for manual processing, the IRS issues refunds in approximately 6-8 weeks. For amended returns, the IRS processes refunds in about 8-12 weeks. (.)

Refunds involving the adoption tax credit are processed refunds in about 14 weeks, as the IRS performs additional processing and verification of the adoption credit. (.)

Non-resident aliens may have to wait up to 6 months to receive their refund if they claimed a refund of taxes withheld on Form 1042-S (, IRS.gov).

Common Reasons Why Federal Tax Refunds Can Be Delayed

There are lots of reasons why a federal tax refund may be delayed. Some of the reasons for delays include:

Processing Backlogs

Refunds often take longer to process when the IRS is receiving higher than normal volume of tax returns. Tax returns filed on paper, including amended returns and tax returns that are required to be filed on paper, can take longer for the IRS to process when the agency gets backlogged.

Incorrect Bank Information in Direct Deposit Section of Tax Return

If you filed your tax return, and the Where's My Refund app shows that the IRS sent your refund, but it still hasn't shown up in your bank account, then maybe the IRS sent the refund to the wrong account. 

This happens when the bank account number and routing transit number showing on your tax return are different than your actual bank numbers. Perhaps you or your tax preparer made a mistake when entering this data? In this situation, the IRS will send the tax refund to the bank account shown on your tax return.

If the numbers shown on your tax return don't correspond exactly to your bank account information, there are two possibilities for what could happen. 1. The bank could refuse the deposit and send the refund back to the IRS, and the IRS will then mail out the refund via check. 2. The bank doesn't refuse the deposit, and the refund is deposited to the mistaken account shown on your tax return. In this second case, that account either might be an actual account that belongs to another bank customer or it might not be an actual account, and the money is sitting there until the bank figures out what to do with the money.

If your direct deposit information does not match your actual bank information, call the IRS right away to request that your direct deposit be canceled and your refund be converted to a check. You will likely also need to contact the bank to see if the bank can reverse the incorrect direct deposit. For further guidance on procedures for a mistaken routing or account number, see the IRS Web page on .

IRS Needs to Manually Verify Information

The IRS may need to verify information. When the IRS gets backlogged, such as during the busiest times of the filing season, this verification process can get backlogged and delayed.

Check the Status of a State Tax Refund

Wondering where your state tax refund is? It's easy to check the status of your state tax refund using the online refund status tools on each state's Web site. Find your state and click on the link to go directly to your state's refund status tool.

  • (click the Where's My Refund? link under the section titled eServices)
  • Alaska No income tax
  • Arkansas (click on Where's My Refund under the section titled Inquiry Search)
  • Colorado (click on Where's My Refund/Rebate under the section titled Quick Links)
  • (click on Check on the Status of Your Refund found in the blue sidebar)
  • Florida No income tax
  • (click on the George Tax Center link, or download the myGAtax application for Android and iOS devices)
  • (click on the Where's my refund? button)
  •  (click on the Get Started link under the section titled Refund Status: Online, or call the Department of Revenue's automated refund line at (317) 233-4018. To speak to a representative, call (317) 232-2240.)
  • (Account registration required)
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada No income tax
  • New Hampshire (Call (603) 230-5920.)
  •  (Or call (800) 323-4400, a toll-free call within New Jersey.)
  • Oregon (click on Where's my refund? under the Quick Links section)
  • South Dakota No income tax
  • Tennessee (Call (800) 342-1003, toll-free within the state. Out-of-state persons call (615) 253-0600.)
  • Texas No income tax
  • Utah (click on Where's My Refund? under the section titled For Individuals)
  • Vermont
  • Washington No income tax
  • West Virginia (click the check the status of your refund link)
  • Wyoming No income tax