The Internal Revenue Service made an important enhancement to the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ online tool recently by introducing a new feature that lets taxpayers check the status of their current tax year and two previous years’ refunds.

Taxpayers can select any of the three most recent tax years to check their refund status. They’ll need their Social Security number or ITIN, filing status, and expected refund amount from the originally filed tax return for the tax year they’re checking, according to a news release.

Previously, ‘Where’s My Refund?’ only displayed the most recently filed tax return status within the past two tax years. The information available to those calling the refund hotline will be limited to the 2021 tax return.

Using ‘Where’s My Refund?’ taxpayers can start checking the status of their refund within:

  • 24 hours after e-filing the tax year 2021 return.
  • Three or four days after e-filing the tax year 2019 or 2020 return.
  • Four weeks after mailing a return.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that Online Account continues to be the best option for finding their prior-year adjusted gross income, balance due, or another type of account information.

“We encourage those who expect a refund but requested an extension, to file as soon as they’re ready. We process returns on a first-in basis, so the sooner the better,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig in the news release. “There’s really no reason to wait until October 17 if filers have the relevant information to file now. Free File is still available for extension recipients to use to prepare and file their federal tax return for free.”

Electronic filing is open 24/7 and the IRS continues to receive returns and issue refunds. Once taxpayers have filed, they can track their refund with Where’s My Refund?

About the ‘Where’s My Refund?’ Tool

This helpful tool, accessible on or the IRS2Go mobile app, lets taxpayers track their refunds through three stages:

  1. Return received.
  2. Refund approved.
  3. Refund sent.

The tool is updated once a day, usually overnight, and gives taxpayers a projected refund issuance date as soon as it’s approved.

It’s also one of the most popular online features available from the IRS. The Where’s My Refund? tool was developed in 2002 and was used by taxpayers more than 776 million times in 2021, the news release added.

Enhancing Taxpayer Experience & IT Modernization

The IRS continues to enhance the customer experience by enhancing and expanding digital tools that deliver improved services to taxpayers.

“The IRS is committed to identifying opportunities to make improvements in real-time for taxpayers and the tax professional community,” Rettig said. “This enhancement to ‘Where’s My Refund?’ is just one of many.”

Additional Refund Status Information

There’s no need to call the IRS to check on refund status unless it has been more than 21 days since the return was filed or the tool says the IRS can provide more information.

If the IRS needs more information to process the return, the taxpayer will be contacted by mail.

For more information about checking the status of a tax refund, please visit ‘Where’s My Refund?

Source: IRS