Improved Where’s My Refund tool

​The IRS recently announced an improved Where’s My Refund tool. The new tool allows you to check the status of your refund for the most recent three years. The current tax years that can be checked are 2021, 2020, and 2019.

Previously, Where’s My Refund only showed the status of the most recently filed tax return within the past two years.

The tool requires you to enter your Social Security Number or ITIN, filing status, and expected refund amount from the original tax return for the year you are checking.

The Where’s My Refund tool is available online at or the IRS2Go mobile app. 

The IRS tool allows you to track your refund through several stages.

Return Received enables you to check to see if the IRS has received the return. After your return has been received by the IRS, they check your personal information to make sure it matches the IRS records. Your return could be rejected for various reasons.

Return Being Processed means that the IRS is processing your return, but your refund could be delayed for many reasons. If you file your return at the last minute, the volume of returns is very high which can result in processing delays.

Refund Approved means the IRS has processed and approved your refund. The IRS is now preparing to send your refund to your bank for direct deposit or a check is being mailed to you.

Refund Sent means that your refund is on the way. If the IRS sent your refund to your bank, it could take one to five days to deposit the funds in your bank.

You can start checking the status of your refund 24 hours after efiling your current tax return. The status becomes available three to four days after efiling your refunds for previous years.

The status can be checked four weeks after mailing a return.

The IRS encourages you to use the Where’s My Refund tool rather than calling the IRS.

The Where’s My Amended Return tool can be used to check the status of an amended return. Amended returns can normally take up to 16 weeks to be processed. However, due to Covid processing delays, it is taking the IRS more than 20 weeks to process amended returns.

The has another tool which enables you find other personal information. You can use the Online Account tool to find your prior year adjusted gross income, balance due, and other information. It also provides payment history and other tax records.

“The IRS is committed to identifying opportunities to make improvements in real-time for taxpayers and the tax professional community,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.

David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent in East Tennessee, providing tax strategies and representing clients before the IRS and has over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of six tax books and has shared tax advice on national TV. He is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education, including David’s one-minute tax tip radio recordings at David can be reached at (865) 363-3019 or contacted by email at