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Where's my refund?

Posted by Jill Boynton  April 14, 2009 10:00 AM

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My accountant e-filed my daughter's return at the end of March and mine on the same day. I got my refund about a week later. To this day we have not seen hers. She filed a short form. How can I find out if it has been sent out or if the check has been cashed?

Filing electronically has many benefits, not the least of which is the promise of a quick turnaround by the IRS - normally within 3 weeks of the acknowledgement date vs. 6 weeks for paper returns. Regardless of whether you file on line or by mail, the IRS website can help you track your refund. Information about your return is available 72 hours after you receive an electronic acknowledgement of receipt of your return (if you filed on line) or about 3-4 weeks after mailing your paper return.

Start by going to the official IRS website, www.irs.gov. Click on "Where's my refund?" on the lefthand side of the homepage. This will take you to an area where you will put in your personal information, including the amount of refund you are expecting. Once entered, you will be given the status of your return. You can also check the status by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954.

Even though you got your refund already, you'll need to give your daughter's return more time before assuming it's been lost or otherwise delayed. The IRS recommends waiting 28 days, and if you haven't received it by then you can start a refund trace online (through the "Where's my refund?" page.)

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