IRS News Release  
February 20, 2003

Three Million Use IRS.GOV to Check on Refunds

WASHINGTON - Three million taxpayers looking for their share of $54 billion in refunds have used the “Where´s My Refund?” service on to check the status of their refund, the Internal Revenue Service said today.

“Where´s My Refund?” is the quickest way to check on a refund, especially for those who e-file their tax return. E-filers can begin tracking their refund online within 48-72 hours of filing their electronic return. Because e-filing speeds tax return processing, it allows the “Where´s My Refund?” service to update much faster. Paper return filers can start checking online in about three to four weeks after their return is mailed. In addition to delivery time, paper returns take longer to input into IRS computer systems.

“There´s no better way to check on your refund than visiting,” Acting IRS Commissioner Bob Wenzel said. “Using gets you the information you need whenever you want it.”

The “Where´s My Refund?” service is available on the home page and using the service is easy. Simple online instructions guide taxpayers through a process that asks for their Social Security Number, filing status and the exact amount of their refund – all information shown on their tax return.

Once the information is submitted, results can include one of several responses, including:

  • That a return was received and is in processing;
  • The expected mailing date or direct deposit date of the taxpayer’s refund; or
  • Whether a refund has been returned to the IRS because it could not be delivered.

Taxpayers can avoid unsuccessful responses by entering the exact amount of their expected refund and the other requested information just as it appears on the tax return they filed with the IRS. This information is part of the security that verifies that the person is authorized to access that specific account information.

Even in cases where a refund is being reviewed or delayed because of a math error or other issue, the “Where´s My Refund?” service provides taxpayers with immediate and specific steps to resolve any issues that may be affecting their refund.

So far this filing season, 72 percent of taxpayers have filed electronic returns and 77.6 percent of those getting money back have requested direct deposit of their refunds.

2003 Filing Season Statistics

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