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Where’s my refund?

How to check the status of a federal income tax refund

COLUMBUS — “Where’s my refund?” That’s the question likely on the minds of the tens of thousands of Ohioans who waited until the past two weeks of the filing season.

Many of these last-minute filers are in the waiting zone — awaiting receipt of their federal income tax refund. Taxpayers who combine e-file with direct deposit generally receive their refund within 7-10 days of filing their returns.

Those who file electronically (e-file) and opt for a paper check generally receive it within three weeks of filing.

Taxpayers who file using a paper return and don’t opt for direct deposit of a refund generally receive their paper check through the mail within six weeks of filing. Refunds from amended returns are typically issued within 8-12 weeks.

Fortunately, the IRS has made the waiting easier by providing taxpayers with several options to check refund status.

“Where’s My Refund?” on the IRS web site, www.IRS.gov, gives online access to refund information for both direct deposit and paper check refunds. Those without computer access can call the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954. Internet-connected visually impaired taxpayers who have the Job Access With Speech screen reader with a Braille display can also access “Where’s My Refund?” online.

Also, Apple and Android smartphone users who have downloaded IRS2Go can check their refund status using the IRS app launched earlier this year.

“Information on refund status is generally available to taxpayers about 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of their e-filed returns, or three to four weeks after mailing a paper return,” said IRS spokeswoman Jennifer Jenkins. She noted that the “Where’s My Refund?” tool will not provide refund information for current tax year amended tax returns (1040X) and business tax returns, or prior year returns.

To check the status of a refund using “Where’s My Refund?” on www.IRS.gov or using IRS2Go, taxpayers need to provide the following information from their tax return:

• Social Security Number (or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)

• Filing status

• Refund amount shown on the tax return

Once personal information has been entered, several responses generally result, including:

• Acknowledgement that the return was received and is in processing

• The mailing date or direct deposit date of the refund

• A notice that the IRS could not deliver the refund due to an incorrect address – in this instance, change or correct the mailing address online using “Where’s My Refund?”

If the U.S. Postal Service returns a paper refund check as undeliverable, taxpayers may be able to use “Where’s My Refund?” to change the address the IRS has on file.

Or, they can complete and submit IRS Form 8822, Change of Address. Form 8822 can be downloaded and printed from www.IRS.gov, or ordered by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM. The completed Form 8822 should be sent to the address on the form.

In most cases, if more than 28 days have passed since the IRS mailed their refund, taxpayers can file an online claim for a replacement check.