Checking the Status of an E-filed Return & Refund
Over the last decade, the United States Internal Revenue Service has implemented rules that have helped simplify the process of filing a tax return for both individuals and businesses.
They have provided the ability for taxpayers to work with private companies to both e-file their returns and then track the progress of them. This has resulted in a simplification and expediting of the process for almost all taxpayers. Online e-filing is not only superior in terms of speeding up the time it takes to receive a return but it also speeds up the process of entering the information and approving it.
The IRS has also implemented a direct deposit system allowing filers to receive their refund faster and without additional trips to and from their financial institution.
When e-filing with an authorized provider, such as this website, there are a variety of status responses sent to you from the IRS. Successfully transmitted, received by the IRS, errors or problems with the transmission and confirmations that a return has been accepted are all responses that an may be provided to you.
All taxpayers want a fast response on their filing, especially if they are expecting a refund. The IRS has recently instituted an easy method for checking the status of a refund.
"Where's my refund": When should you begin to check?
"Where's my refund" is what the IRS calls its tool allowing filers to check the status of a refund (Here - https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp).
In order to check the status of a refund, you must first file the return. Less than twenty-one days is the "stated" turn-around time in which a filer should receive their refund. However, in practice many refunds are processed much quicker than this, some in as little as 8 days. As such you should consider waiting at least this long before checking the status of a refund.
If you would like to check the status of your refund, these are the items you will need:
1. Your social security number.
2. Filing status (single, married filing jointly, head of household, etc)
3. The exact refund amount, according to your tax return.
There is also a toll-free phone number that you can also call to receive an update. That number is 1-800-829-1954. Status updates occur once every twenty-four hours, usually at night. Calling or checking online once every twenty-four hours is enough, checking more often will not prompt a quicker status update.
Did you know you can use your refund to buy U.S. bonds and even fund a retirement account?
Buying Series I bonds with all or part of a refund is a simple process (up to $5,000). I Bonds are low risk , liquid savings instruments which can be purchased in increments of $50.00. When filing, taxpayers can use a form 8888 (aka Allocation Of Funds form) to perform several functions in regard to refunds. There are five different options which someone can choose:
1. Buy series I bonds
2. Deposit to an IRA account
3. Deposit to checking/savings account
4. Deposit into another approved savings vehicle
5. Request a paper check.
Filing has certainly gotten much simpler in recent years and so has checking the status of a return/refund. Deciding how you want to receive it, with all the options that are now available, perhaps not so much.