Where is my IRS Refund?

The Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, has seen their share of delays during 2012. Several delays impacted early tax return respondents in January. These delays placed early respondent taxpayers with the cold hard reality of direct deposit refunds taking an additional two to eight weeks for arrival in bank accounts. Further delays were seen in early February when tax preparation companies found they did not have update paperwork for certain filing situations, such as independent contractors, education credits and small business owners.

Eventually, most taxpayers did receive their refunds. The problem is that some taxpayers still have not seen their refunds, and they may be getting few answers as to why. If your question is where is my IRS refund, then you are not alone. Here are a few ways to get your refund or at least get the answers to finding out where your refund is located.

Online Refund Status

The IRS has developed a website specifically to help answer the question, where is my IRS refund. This site, located on the IRS Refund Status Page, is the perfect starting point to finding out about your refund. This site is for taxpayers who have filed their taxes at least 72 hours before using the site or four weeks after mailing in your return. You will need your social security number, the tax refund amount and what status the return was filed under. You must have the exact amount of your tax refund located at the end of your tax preparation paperwork.

Tax Preparer

If the tax return was not filed online and a tax preparation company, such as H&R Block, was used then contacting the company is the best way to find your return. The tax preparation company will have all the information for the return on file and can either provide that information at one of their offices or can find out the status of the refund. The tax preparer can also check to ensure the refund was sent to the proper bank account or address. Asking the tax preparation office “Where is my IRS refund?” usually sends off alarms that this is an issue that needs to be fixed quickly.

Banking Status

The question of “Where is my IRS refund?” can be answered within a few minutes using the tax refund status page of the IRS or with the tax preparation company. There are a few instances when the issue is with the bank or financial institution. If the IRS shows that the refund was sent to the bank through an ACH transfer or deposit, then the next step is to contact the bank. A simple phone call to the banks customer service line may give the right answers and lead to finding out where the IRS refund may be. In certain cases, the taxpayer may find visiting the bank in person, with the proper tax receipts and paperwork, is the better route. Remember to take a print out of the tax refund confirmation page, a copy of the IRS status page stating that your refund was sent, and a copy of your information showing the tax forms were prepared and sent to your bank account.

Photo Credit: Simon Cunningham

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