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Feb 132014
 February 13, 2014  Posted by  Taxes
7 tax tips for procrastinators

The 2014 income tax season has officially opened. Among the first to file will be those taxpayers who are due income tax refunds.

And once you file, your burning question will be: Where’s my refund?

The Internal Revenue Service has an app for that. The agency’s popular Where’s My Refund website tool is back. Enter your Social Security number, filing status and exact amount of your refund, and the IRS will tell you the date your tax return was received, the date your refund was approved and the date the check was sent or the funds were transferred to your bank.

If you file electronically, you can start tracking your refund within 24 hours. If you file a paper return, you will have to wait about four weeks before you can start tracking your refund. You can also track your refund on iPhone or Android using the IRS2Go smartphone app (with 2014 improvements expected any day). Most taxpayers will receive refunds within 21 days of electronic filing, according to the IRS. If you file on paper, the wait is longer.

The information is updated every 24 hours — usually overnight — so you need to check only once a day. You can use this tool to track your refund unless you file an amended return, but you cannot use it to track business refunds.

You can get more information from the IRS’ Frequently Asked Questions page about refunds and from the “When Will I Get My Refund” YouTube video, one of 130 informational videos the agency has posted.

The IRS cautions taxpayers to beware of scams in which crooks attempt to extract your personal information to steal your refund. The IRS will not send you an email asking for your Social Security number, bank account number or other information, nor will the agency send text messages asking for such information. You can read more about how to avoid tax refund and phishing scams here.

Teresa Mears

Teresa Mears is a website publisher, writer, blogger and editor who was raised to be frugal. In her 35 years as a journalist, she has written for papers ranging in size from the weekly Portland (Tenn.) Leader to The Los Angeles Times. She was an editor for the Miami Herald for more than 17 years, overseeing coverage of home, real estate, family and other subjects. She has also been a contributor to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News and other publications. When she’s not writing about Florida deals, she writes and edits for MSN Money and does the Listed blog for MSN Real Estate. Teresa owns and operates Miami On The CheapFlorida On The CheapFort Lauderdale On The CheapPalm Beach On The CheapOrlando On The Cheap, Florida Keys On the Cheap and Jacksonville On The Cheap, as well as Baltimore on the Cheap and Washington, D.C., on the Cheap.

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