Still Haven't Received Your Tax Refund Yet? Here's How to Track Your Money

Whether you met the tax submission deadline or just filed late last week, you should be checking the status to see when your refund will arrive.

Whether you beat the Tax Day deadline and filed your 2021 tax return or filed late, the next step is waiting for your refund money to arrive. 

If you filed on or before April 18, your refund money should arrive within 21 days of filing as long as there are no errors and you filed electronically and set up direct deposit. Late filers can expect a delayed refund.

To keep tabs on your refund, you can start tracking it to your bank account after the IRS begins processing your tax return. Tracking your refund will also assure you that your tax return has been accepted by the IRS and hasn't been rejected because of errors.

If you've requested a paper check for your tax refund, it'll take longer -- about six to eight weeks -- but you can also track that check to your mailbox using a free Postal Service tool. 

We'll explain how to use the Where's My Refund and IRS2Go tools to track your tax refund online, and how to use your online IRS account for further details. If you still haven't filed, here's how you can file your taxes for free and take advantage of the biggest tax changes for this year. 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 your tax refund goes into your bank account via direct deposit, it could take an additional five days for your bank to put the money in your account. 

This means if it takes the IRS the full 21 days to issue your check and your bank five days to deposit 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.

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.

In testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, IRS Commissioner Charles P. Retting said that the agency received "far more than 10 million returns" last year where taxpayers failed to properly reconcile their received stimulus payments with their recovery rebate credit, requiring a manual review and resolution.

If the delay is due to a necessary tax correction made to a recovery rebate credit, earned income tax or additional child tax credit claimed on your return, the IRS will send you an explanation. If there's a problem that needs to be fixed, the IRS will first try to proceed without contacting you. However, if it needs any more information, it will write you a letter. 

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. 

Using the IRS tool Where's My Refund, go to the Get Refund Status page, enter your personal data, then press Submit. If you entered your information correctly, you'll be taken to a page that shows your refund status. 

If not, you may be asked to verify your personal tax data and try again. If all the information looks correct, you'll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, along with whether you filed electronically or on paper.

Where's My Refund has information on the most recent tax refund that the IRS has on file within the past two years, so if you're looking for return information from previous years you'll need to check your IRS online account for more information. 

Through your own personalized account, you'll be able to see the total amount you owe, your payment history, key information about your most recent tax return, notices you've received from the IRS and your address on file. 




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