Easy Ways to Check on Your Tax Refund

Save time and money by e-filing and then getting updates on your smartphone.

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If you were one of the few tax filers who got your returns in early, you probably are waiting on that fat refund check. The average tax refund last year was over three thousand dollars and if you're anything close to that, you're probably itching to get that check! Fortunately, there are a couple ways you can keep tabs on the status of your tax return as well as the status of your check.

One note before we get into the details: Remember that if you were affected by the tax law changes at the end of 2010, the IRS won't be processing it until February 14th. That means that even if you e-filed it last week, processing of those returns won't have started until after Valentine's Day.

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IRS.gov

The easiest way to get the status of your refund is to use the IRS.gov's Refund Status form. You'll need your social security number, your filing status, and the exact refund amount from your tax return. This is a good way to find out not only the status of your refund but whether or not your return has been processed yet. In general, you have to wait 72 hours from when you've e-filed or 3-4 weeks from if you filed a paper return. That's a big reason why it's better to e-file.

IRS2Go

If you have an iPhone or an Android powered phone, you can download the IRS2Go smartphone application. It's free and it lets you check your refund status (among a few other things that aren't really of note) using the same information you'd need for the online form.

If you haven't filed yet, I strongly urge you to pick the direct deposit option if you can. The last thing you want to do is have the post office lose your refund check!

Jim Wang writes about personal finance at Bargaineering.com. When he's not tackling money issues, he's usually looking forward to his next vacation and writing about it at Wanderlust Journey.