The IRS has reminded taxpayers that the fastest and easiest way to check on tax refunds is by using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool (the tool) on IRS.gov or through the IRS2Go mobile app. The IRS encouraged individuals to file a return this year to get child-related tax credits that were expanded by the American Rescue Plan. These include the Child Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The IRS reminded taxpayers that filing electronically and using direct deposit is the fastest way to file an accurate return and receive a tax refund. Taxpayers can use the tool to check their refund status within 24 hours after an e-filed return is received or four weeks after the taxpayer mails a paper return. The tool’s tracker displays progress through three phases:

  • Return Received
  • Refund Approved
  • Refund Sent

Most tax refunds are issued within 21 days. However, the IRS provided a list of reasons why some tax refunds may take longer. The IRS will contact taxpayers by mail if more information is needed to process a return. Further, the IRS informed taxpayers that the agency cannot issue Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) refunds before mid-February. This is due to the changes to the tax law made by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. The tool and the IRS2Go app are updated for most early EITC or ACTC filers with an estimated deposit date by February 19, if they file their taxes early. If a filer claimed the EITC or the ACTC, they could expect to get their refund by March 1 if:

  • They file their return online
  • They choose direct deposit to get their refund
  • No issues are found with their return

The IRS informed taxpayers that ordering a tax transcript will not help them get their refund faster or find out when they will get their refund. Further, the information available on the tool is the same information available to IRS telephone assistors. Taxpayers can find answers to questions, forms and instructions and other easy-to-use tools at IRS.gov.