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Checking The Status Of Your Tax Refund

How to check the status of your federal tax refund online

So, you were pleasantly surprised to learn you are getting a refund on your taxes. Congratulations! The IRS is issuing billions of dollars in tax refunds for the 2004 tax year. The
question for most taxpayers is, "Where is my refund?"

Check your tax refund status online!

The easiest way to check on your refund is to ask the IRS through www.irs.gov. On the homepage, you'll see a "Where's My Refund?" link. Using the service is fairly easy. You need a copy of your tax return to get started. Specifically, you need to provide your social security number, you tax filing status and the exact amount of your refund to the online IRS service.

The IRS requires all of this information for security purposes. With all the privacy concerns on the net, the agency wants to make sure it is giving access only to the taxpayer. Again, all of this information should be on your return. If it is not, something is very wrong!

Once you submit the required information, the IRS will provide online results typically showing information:

  1. Whether the return has been received and processed.
  2. The expected mailing date or direct deposit date of your tax refund... or
  3. Whether your refund could not be issued because of a delivery problem.
In some cases, the result may alert you that the IRS is reviewing your tax return because of errors or questionable entries. In such a case, it is highly advised that you review your return with a qualified tax professional and make absolutely sure that the return will stand up to scrutiny.

How long do you have to wait before checking on the status of your tax refund?

If you filed your tax return electronically, you should be able to access the status of your tax refund within 48 to 72 hours. Since the return is coming into the database electronically, it should be assimilated into the system fairly quickly.

If you do not file your return electronically, you are going to have to wait three weeks or more before the status of your return can be checked. As you can imagine, the IRS is receiving an enormous number of paper tax returns and it takes time to organize and enter the returns into the system.

How long should it take to receive your tax refund?

If you are expecting a tax refund, the time to issue the refund will depend upon how you filed your return. If you filed a paper return via regular mail, you refund should be issued in six to eight weeks from the date it was received by the IRS.

Alternatively, if you filed your return electronically, you should expect to receive your refund in three to four weeks. If you elected to have your refund directly deposited in your banking account, you should take one week off of the above estimates.

About the Author:

Richard Chapo is CEO of businesstaxrecovery.com, which obtains tax refunds for small businesses by finding overlooked tax deductions and credits through a free tax return review.

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