The IRS Has Already Issued $15.7 Billion in Refunds. Here's How to Track Yours

The IRS Has Already Issued $15.7 Billion in Refunds. Here’s How to Track Yours

This story is part Taxes 2023CNET’s coverage of the best tax software, tax tips, and everything you need to file and track your refund.

The IRS began processing 2022 federal income tax returns on January 23. In less than a month, the agency has already processed more than 16 million, an increase of 29% compared to the same period last year.

As of February 3, 2023$15.7 billion in refunds have already been issued, or 64.6% more money than was sent by February 4, 2022.

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Ninety percent of eligible taxpayers should receive their refund within three weeks of filing, according to the tax authorities. Setting up direct deposit to your bank account speeds things up, as paper checks can take six to eight weeks to arrive in the mail.

However, whichever format you choose, you can track your return and estimate when a refund will arrive. Here’s how.

For more tax advicediscover the best tax software for 2023 and learn from the mistakes can get you audited.

How do I track my tax refund?

The fastest way to monitor your tax refund is with the IRS Where is my refund? page, which also lets you know if your return has been rejected by the IRS due to errors.

To use the IRS Tracking Toolsyou’ll need to provide a social security number or individual tax identification number, your filing status (single, married, or head of household), and your refund amount in whole dollars.

Go to the Get refund status page on the IRS website and enter your personal data, then press Submit.

If you are not redirected to a page showing the status of your refund, you may be prompted to verify your personal tax information and try again. If all the information looks correct, you’ll need to enter the date you filed your taxes, as well as whether you filed electronically or on paper.

Make sure it’s been at least 24 hours before you start tracking a return online, or up to four weeks if you mailed your return.

How do I track a tax refund from a previous year?

The Where’s My Refund tool lists federal refund information available to the IRS for the past two years. If you are looking for details of previous years’ returns, you will need to check your IRS online account.

From here, you’ll be able to see the total amount you owe, your payment history, key information about your last tax return, notices you’ve received from the IRS, and your registered address.

You can use the IRS2Go mobile app to track your tax return

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The IRS2Go application is available for iOS and Android.

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS also has a mobile app called IRS2Go who can monitor your tax refund status. It is available for iOS and Android and in English and Spanish.

In the app, you can see if your return has been received and approved, and if a refund has been sent.

To log in, you will need your social security number, your filing status, and your expected refund amount. The IRS updates the application overnight, so if you don’t see a status change, check back the next day.

What are the possible statuses of my tax return?

The IRS tools will show you one of three messages explaining the status of your tax return.

  • Received: The IRS now has your tax return and is working to process it.
  • Approved: The IRS has processed your return and confirmed your refund amount, if you have one.
  • Sent: Your refund is now on its way to your bank via direct deposit or as a paper check sent to your mailbox. (Here’s how change the address on file if you have moved.)

Why does Where’s My Refund show “Tax Topic 152” or an IRS error message?

Although the Where’s My Refund tool typically displays a Received, Approved, or Sent status, there are a variety of other messages that some users may see.

One of the most common is Taxation Topic 152, indicating that you will likely receive a refund, but it has not yet been approved or sent. The notice is simply linked to an informational subject page on the IRS FAQ website explaining the types and timing of tax refunds.

The delay could be an automated message for taxpayers claiming child tax credit or earned income tax credit sent due to additional fraud protection measures.

Taxation Topic 151 means that your tax return is currently under review by the IRS. The agency either needs to check certain credits or dependents, or it has determined that your tax refund will be reduced to pay the money it thinks you owe.

You will have to wait about four weeks to receive a notice from the IRS explaining what you need to do to fix the problem.

There are other IRS refund codes that a small percentage of filers receive, indicating freezes, miscalculations on tax returns, or undelivered checks. The Investor College offers a list of IRS refund reference codes and errors and their meaning.

Can I call the IRS about my tax refund?

Get live phone support is notoriously difficult at the IRS. In 2022, only about 13% of taxpayers affects a human being, according to Erin M. Collins, the National Taxpayer’s Advocate.

Congress increased funding for the agency, and the IRS said it hired more than 5,000 new telephone representatives. Still, the agency says you should only call if it’s been at least 21 days since you filed your taxes online, or if the where is my refund the tool tells you to do so.

You can call 800-829-1040 Or 800-829-8374 during normal business hours.

Otherwise, the IRS directs taxpayers to the Let us help you on its website and to help in person at taxpayer assistance centers across the country. You can contact your local IRS office or call 844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment. If you are eligible for assistance, you can also contact the Taxpayer Defense Service at 877-777-4778.

What does ‘IRS TREAS 310’ mean on my bank statement?

If you receive your tax refund by direct deposit, you may see IRS TRES 310 indicated in the transaction. Simply code 310 identifies the transaction in the form of a refund of a tax return filed as an electronic payment. You can also see TAX REF in the description field for a refund.

If you see a 449 instead of 310this means that your refund may have been compensation for overdue debt.

Why was my refund mailed instead of direct deposit?

There are several reasons why your refund may be mailed rather than electronically deposited into your account. Keep in mind:

  • You must provide the correct account and routing number.
  • Funds can only be deposited into an account in your name or in your spouse’s name (or both for a joint account).
  • The IRS can only directly deposit up to three refunds into a single account.

If you receive a refund check in the mail, here’s how track it from the IRS office to your mailbox.

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