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Tax Return and Tax Refund Status

Important: The IRS began processing (accepting or rejecting) 2020 returns on February 12, 2021. Since then, they have opened their "Where's My Refund?" tool. If your 2020 tax return status filed in 2021 is still being processed after you have filed your return, the IRS has confirmed that they are backlogged on processing and issuing refunds. Once you file your return on eFIle.com, your status will change - if it is Accepted, the IRS has acknowledged and accepted your return. The IRS "Where's My Refund?" tool may show that you have not provided enough information or that your return is still processing. This is due to delays caused by many complications; for example, problems related to stimulus payments. It may show that your 2020 tax return is still being processed; it is important to understand that your tax return was accepted, but your tax refund is processing in this case.

Find details below for Tax Year 2020 tax returns and refunds due on April 15 - May 17, 2021. Once a tax return has been e-filed, the IRS will process it before issuing a refund, if owed. A tax refund is any tax you overpaid during a tax year combined with tax credits and can be returned via direct deposit, a prepaid debit card, or a mailed check. See how to pay your due tax if you are not owed a refund.


Before you check where your tax refund money is, please check your tax return status through your eFile.com account and make sure that your tax return has been accepted by the IRS. This is displayed on the home page when you log in.

Generally, you can get tax refund information 72 hours after the IRS has acknowledged the receipt of your e-filed tax return, or three-to-four weeks after mailing a paper tax return. Before you check your tax refund status under Step 2 below, make sure you have a copy of your tax return handy. You will need to provide the following information from your tax return:

Step 1: Check your Tax RETURN Status

  1. Check your tax return on eFile.com (only if you prepared and e-filed at eFile.com). If you e-filed your tax return at a different site, please sign in to your account on that site; eFile.com cannot provide tax return status information for other websites or tax offices.
  2. Sign in to your existing eFile.com account and you will see the status of your prepared and e-filed tax return:
    • Not e-filed | In Progress
    • Pending
    • Accepted
    • Rejected
  3. If your return is rejected, you can correct any errors and e-file again until your return is accepted at no additional charge. If your tax return was rejected by the IRS - not eFile.com - for any reason, you will find detailed instructions on how to correct minor errors. The rejection reason is stated and you will be given details as well as a link to fix the issue. For specific assistance, please contact eFile.com support so we can guide you through the required corrections.
  4. If you have further questions about the status of your return, you can also call the IRS Tax Assistance Hotline: 1-800-829-1040 (Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time).

Step 2: Check your Tax REFUND Status

Only after your tax return is accepted by the IRS can you expect your tax refund. How your refund is released by the IRS depends on which refund method you selected when you e-filed or filed your return.

1. Direct Bank Deposit: Your tax refund will be electronically transferred directly from the IRS (U.S. Treasury) to the bank account you entered during your tax preparation on eFile.com.

Go to this page to find your refund status and check in this order:

  • Tax refund dates in the table for different deposit methods.
  • Your tax refund status via the lookup tool.
  • Contact your bank or call the IRS Refund Hotline: 1-800-829-1954

2. Direct Deposit with e-Collect - Deduct Fee From Refund (DFFR): If you paid your tax preparation fee via e-Collect, your tax refund will be transferred from the IRS to the eFile.com e-Collect partner, EPS Financial, and then to your bank account, minus the tax preparation fee (for Deluxe or Premium service plus state preparation, if applicable). A service processing fee (e-Collect fee) of only $24.95 will be charged for this service. This fee is charged by EPS Financial, not eFile.com, and will be automatically deducted from your tax refund.

If you choose this option, you will need to visit the EPS website and create an account in order to check the status of your refund. Once you have an account, you will be able to track the status of your refund and the expected date of your deposit. Your funds will be transferred from the IRS to EPS, and then to your bank account (minus the $24.95 e-Collect fee).

Visit this page to find your refund status, then check the following:

  • Tax refund dates,
  • Tax refund status, and
  • The refund status with EPS via the link in the table: e-Collect Refund Status Lookup

Note: If you contacted the IRS and they informed you that your refund was transferred to a bank or a bank routing number different than the routing number of your bank, don't worry. The IRS and eFile are not banks, thus the e-Collect partner, EPS Financial, was instructed (with a unique routing number) to transfer your tax refund to your bank.

3. E1 Visa® Prepaid Card by Mail (Issued by EPS Financial): If you selected to have your tax preparation fee deducted from your expected tax refund, but you do not have a bank direct deposit account, you can select to have your refund put on an E1 Visa® Prepaid Card. You should expect to receive the card in the mail 7-10 days after the IRS accepts your tax return. Once EPS processes your fees, the remainder of your refund will be deposited onto the card.

You can view this page to find your refund status before checking in this order:

  • View tax refund dates,
  • Get your tax refund status via the tool, and
  • Check your refund status with EPS.

Note: If the IRS distributed your refund to a bank you do not recognize, this is the temporary bank account set up by EPS financial to process your refund and issue your refund.

4. IRS Check by Mail: Once your tax return has been received and processed, the IRS will issue you a paper check and send it through the post office. It generally takes about twice as long as direct deposit to receive your refund in the mail.

Check in this order on this page detailing your refund status:

  • Tax refund dates,
  • Tax refund status, then
  • Call the IRS refund hotline: 1-800-829-1954

If you have questions or concerns about obtaining your tax refund status, please contact eFile.com support.

Learn more about unclaimed tax refunds or tax refunds that did not reach the recipient. See different levels of tax preparation and e-filing services on eFile.com. Review how the eFile app works before you sign up for a free account to e-file your 2020 Tax Return.