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.
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.