Refund Term

Refund Term
Refund Term

Refund Term

The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in the normal time frame: less than 21 days. However, some of the tax returns may require further review and the refund may be delayed.

Some common issues that can extend processing times are:

  • You filed your return on paper.
  • You are waiting for a refund of an amended return. See Where is my amended return? for more information, including processing times.
  • If you filed an Injured Spouse claim, see  Injured Spouse Relief for more information.
  • For refund claims with an attached application for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), see Topic  857  for more information.
  • If you requested a refund of tax withheld on a  Form 1042-S  by filing a  Form 1040-NR, allow up to six months from the original due date of the Form 1040-NR return (SP) or the date you filed Form 1040-NR (SP), whichever is later, to receive any refund to which you are entitled.
  • The IRS expects the earliest date refunds related to the earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)and  Additional Child Tax Credit will be available in bank accounts or on cards debit cards by February 28, if you choose direct deposit and there are no other issues with your tax return. However, some taxpayers may see their refunds a few days early. To get a custom date for your refunds, you can check  Where’s My Refund?

You can also refer to  Topic 303  for a list of common tax preparation mistakes, as well as other reasons that may cause delays in the processing of your return.

Call us to find out about the status of your refund only if Where’s My Refund? tells you to contact us. Where Is The Serial Number On A Savings Bond?

refund type

Be one of the nine out of 10 taxpayers who get their refunds faster by using e-file and direct deposit. There are several options for receiving your federal individual income tax refund:

  • Direct Deposit: The fastest way is by direct deposit to your checking or savings account, including an individual retirement account (IRA). See the Instructions for Form 1040 (SP) (and Form 1040-SR (SP)) PDF  for more information. To combat fraud and identity theft, the IRS limits the number of direct deposits to the same financial account or prepaid debit card to only three refunds per year. Taxpayers who exceed this limit will receive a notice and refund check instead of the deposit, which could take up to 10 weeks;
  • TreasuryDirect ®: Deposit to a TreasuryDirect ® online account to purchase savings bonds. For more information, see Instructions for Form 1040 (SP) (and Form 1040-SR (SP));
  • Traditional IRA, Roth, or SEP: Direct deposit all or part of your refund into a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, or SEP-IRA, but not a SIMPLE IRA. You must already have an IRA account before you file your return and your routing number and account number. See the instructions for Form 1040 (SP) (and Form 1040-SR (SP))  for more information. For more information on IRA contributions, see  Publication 590-A, Contributions to IRA Individual Retirement Accounts;
  • Savings Bonds:  For the purchase of  US Series I Savings Bonds up to $5,000;
  • Health Savings Account (HSA);
  • Archer MSA account;
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA); either
  • Paper Check: By paper check sent to the address indicated on your tax return.

Option to split your refund

If you choose to receive your refund by direct deposit, you can split your refund into up to three separate accounts. For example, you can request that we directly deposit into a checking account, a savings account, and a retirement savings account by completing Form  8888, Reimbursement Distribution (Including Purchase of Savings Bonds), and attached to your income tax return. You can also use Form 8888 to purchase up to $5,000 in Series I savings bonds on paper or electronically. You cannot have your refund deposited in more than one account or purchase paper Series I savings bonds if you file Form  8379, Injured Spouse Allowance. As a reminder, your refund should only be directly deposited into accounts in your name, your spouse’s name, or both if it’s a joint account. Your refund should not be directly deposited into an account in the name of your tax preparer. Please note, if you choose to receive your refund by direct deposit (either to one or multiple accounts), the total amount of the refund must be $1.00 or more.

Online or mobile device

Where is my refund?  has the most up-to-date information available about your refund. Use it to get a personalized status of your refund. The tool is updated once a day, so you don’t need to check more often. You can also download our free mobile app,  IRS2 Go, from an iPhone or Android phone to check Where’s My Refund?

How to check the status of your refund

You can start checking the status of your refund after:

  • 24 hours after electronically filing the tax year 2022 return
  • 3-4 days after electronically filing a 2020 or 2021 tax year return
  • Four weeks after filing the paper return

Have your tax return handy so you can provide your taxpayer identification number, your filing status, and the exact whole dollar amount of the refund shown on your return.

General information

Where is my refund? provides the information for the current tax year and the previous two years. If you need other return information, check your online account.

Where is my refund? includes a tracker that shows progress in 3 phases: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved, and (3) Refund Sent. Where is my refund? provides a custom date for the refund, as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. It does not show information about the amended returns. To find out the status of an amended return, use  Where is my amended return?

Where is my refund? has the most correct and complete refund information available. IRS representatives do not have any information other than what is shown in Where’s My Refund? so you don’t have to call the IRS unless the tool tells you we can provide you with more information. Your refund status is updated once a day – usually overnight.

access by phone

If you do not have internet access, you can call the refund hotline at  800-829-1954, to verify your tax year 2022 refund. To verify an amended return, call  866-464-2050.

You are not entitled to the refund received

If you receive a refund that is not due to you, or for a larger amount than you expected, do not cash the check. For a direct deposit that was larger than expected, immediately contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 and your bank or financial institution. If you receive a notice from the IRS that there has been an adjustment to the refund amount, you should do as instructed in the notice. For information on how to return an erroneous refund, see  Topic 161.

The refund is less than expected

If you receive a refund for less than you expected, you can cash the check. You will receive a notice explaining the difference in amounts. Follow the instructions provided in the notice. If it is determined that you should have received a greater amount, you will then receive a check for the difference.

lost refund check

If your refund check is lost, stolen, or damaged, the IRS will initiate a refund trace to determine the status of the refund. SeeI lost my refund check. How do I get a replacement?