Your returns are done, signed and have been filed. Now what?
You know they said 8 to 14 days and your refund would be direct deposited, but what if something went wrong? How can I be sure things are on track? Is everything ok? Although problems with tax refunds rarely occur, it is very common to get a little anxious about where your refund is in the process. After all, it is your money and you need it now.
There are enough concerns in this area that the IRS offers a solution (actually two). This year, for the first time, one solution even includes a free phone application that was just released on January 24, 2011. It is initially available for the I-phone and the Android users. This is a first step in the IRS’ attempt to use smartphones and other media (including Social Media) to reach out and meet the needs of Taxpayers. More significant, it is an attempt to use the same tools and technologies that we are using in our daily lives.
How it works.
The app is simple, but does what it is intended to do. As soon as 72 hours after your return has been e-filed, you can use this app to access status updates about your refund. Simply provide your social security number (it will be masked and encrypted for security), your filing status and the amount of your expected refund. The app will then provide the status of your refund including the date deposited if it is already in your account. If you still have questions about the status provided, simply press “Call>>” and you will be connected with someone at the IRS to help.
The app also has the ability to sign up for regular IRS “Tax Tips” to be emailed daily during tax season. If you use Twitter, you can choose to follow the IRS @IRSnews. Finally, the app provides you with contact information allowing you to reach various IRS departments by simply pressing the appropriate “Call>>” button on the screen of the phone.
Can’t Use the App?
There is another option for those without a smart phone. The IRS also supports a web site where you can obtain the same type of refund status information. The secure web address is: https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/irfof/lang/en/irfofgetstatus.jsp. It will ask for the same 3 bits of information and will provide the same status information as the phone app. You can also find the refund status page by going to the www.IRS.gov web site and clicking the “Where’s my Refund” icon currently in the right-hand column of the home page.
These two methods of contact are the best for obtaining a status update on your federal income tax refund. Even your professional tax preparer/advisor cannot get better information than this. Well, unless they are using the phone application or web page themselves.