IRS Tax Refunds Are on the Way: How to Track Your Money

Americans are receiving tax refunds every day. Find out when to expect your payment.

Taxpayers have been receiving their refunds for around a month now, with nearly 38 million issued by the IRS so far. 

The tax deadline day is approaching fast, falling on April 18 this year, giving you just over a month to file your taxes. 

If you've already submitted your return, you'll want to know exactly when it'll arrive in your bank account (or in the mail). 

The IRS recommends filing electronically and setting up direct deposit this year, as it can help get your refund issued within three weeks (assuming there are no errors). 

Even with its unprecedented backlog, the IRS says you can still expect your refund money to arrive within about 21 days of e-filing your tax return. Using free tools from the IRS, you can find out exactly when your money is coming. 

Here's how to use the Where's My Refund and IRS2Go tools to track your tax refund online, and how to check your IRS account for further details. 

For more tax info, learn how to create an online IRS account, how to get the rest of your child tax credit money, how you can file your taxes for free and 10 tax changes that might change the size of your refund in 2022. This story is updated frequently.

The IRS usually issues tax refunds within three weeks, but some taxpayers could have to wait a while longer to receive their payments. If there are any errors in your tax return, the wait could be lengthy.

When an issue delays your return, its resolution "depends on how quickly and accurately you respond, and the ability of IRS staff trained and working under social distancing requirements to complete the processing of your return," according to the IRS website.

The date you receive your tax refund also depends on the method you used to file your return. If you submitted a tax return by mail, the IRS says it could take six to eight weeks for your tax refund to arrive once it's been processed.

If your tax refund goes into your bank account via direct deposit, it could take an additional five days for your bank to post the money to your account. 

This means if it takes the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to post it, you could be waiting a total of 26 days to get your tax refund. 

Online services like Venmo and Cash App can deliver your tax refund a few days sooner, since there's no waiting period for the direct deposit.

It's important to note that tax filers taking advantage of the child tax credit and/or the earned income tax credit will need to wait a bit longer. 

By law, the IRS can't issue refunds to taxpayers with those credits until Feb. 15. The IRS told early filers with those credits to expect a tax refund on March 1.

There are several things that could be tacked on to your tax refund this year. As usual, if you overpaid your taxes in 2021, you'll receive that money back. 

However, if you're a parent, you could also expect to receive the rest of your child tax credit money, as well as a reimbursement for money you spent on child care related expenses last year.

Also, if you're still missing your third stimulus payment, you might receive that when you get your tax refund.

How to use the IRS Where's My Refund tracking tool

To check the status of your 2021 income tax refund using the IRS tracker tools, you'll need to provide some personal information: your Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number; your filing status (single, married or head of household); and your refund amount in whole dollars, which you can find on your tax return. Make sure it's been at least 24 hours (or up to four weeks if you mailed your return) before you start tracking your refund.



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