Where Is My Tax Refund?

Where is your IRS or state tax refund? Why is your tax refund smaller than expected?

Article, Solution:
Money Transfer

To check the status of your federal or state refund, follow the steps below. Step 1 is for eFile.com users only; all others start at Step 2.

Step 1: For eFile.com users only: You need to verify that the IRS and/or state have accepted your return before you check where your tax refund money is. Sign in to your eFile.com account and you will see the status of your return(s) on the right side page:

  • Accepted
  • Not e-Filed
  • Pending
  • Rejected.

Only if your return has been accepted can you check where your tax refund or tax money is. 

Step 2: If your IRS return has been accepted and you selected direct bank deposit, check your bank account first to see if your refund was deposited.

Step 3: After you have checked your bank account and/or the e-collect lookup tool and your refund has not been deposited, use the tool below to check on your IRS tax refund status. See how to check your state refund status in Step 4 below.

Where Is My IRS Tax Refund?

Check Your IRS Federal Tax Refund Status
Requires Your IRS accepted Tax Return for Tax Year 2021

What is Your Federal IRS Tax Refund Status?

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Check Your IRS Federal Tax Refund Status
Select the Filing Status that you used on your 2021 Tax Return
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IT = Income Taxes

On the IRS tool, you will generally see one of the following:

  • Return Received
  • Refund Approved
  • Refund sent.

You might see this message after you have entered your data. Many taxpayers have experienced slower than anticipated IRS tax refund processing speed or time in 2021, 2022, and 2023. If your status shows that your information entered was incorrect when you are certain you have entered the right data, this may be due to these delays, meaning they do not have record of the data or refund amount you entered in their system yet and thus cannot display the information. The message might look like this:

image description

Once you have passed the page on top, you will see this message shown below. The progression bar for your tax return might vary on what is shown below:

image description

Step 4: If your state tax return(s) has been accepted, select this link: Where is my state tax refund?

  • Select respective state(s) for contact information.

Lower Tax Refund Amount or Delay in Refund

Below are potential reasons or different factors why the tax return process could be delayed at the IRS:

  • A manual tax return review by the IRS due to potential errors, data omission, identity theft or fraud, etc.
  • Adjustment or correction to a tax credit, deduction, or other information on your return
  • Tax returns that claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit (the IRS holds these returns longer by law for identification purposes)
  • The return includes Form 8379 - Injured Spouse Allocation.

Additional delay factors could be due to tax return processing backlogs created during the 2020 Tax Season:

Due to these delays, taxpayers have seen extensive wait times for 2020, 2021, and 2022 Refunds.

As a result, the receipt of taxpayer's refund would also be delayed.

Only if you selected on eFile.com to have your fees deducted from your refund: Check the status of your e-Collect direct deposit tax refund. Once the IRS has transferred your tax refund to our partner bank - EPS Financial - your tax refund funds will be transferred to the bank account you entered on your tax return.

Read more on why your IRS tax refund could be delayed and more details on 2021, 2022 tax refunds.

If you have further questions about the status of your IRS tax refund, contact the IRS here. They may be able to provide more information on your refund if you filed more than 21 days ago.