If you’re expecting a large tax refund, you want it as quickly as possible. If you mail your return, you’ll receive your tax refund in about 5-6 weeks. 

To get your refund sooner, e-file your return. The status for e-filing your federal return moves along much more quickly than if you mail in your return. Once you’ve completed the federal e-filing process, the response time from the IRS varies from 2-4 days.

Ways to Check Your Federal Refund Status

You can also check the status of your tax refund by:

  • Calling the IRS TeleTax System at 800-829-4477 or the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954.
  • Going to www.irs.gov:
    1. Choose Where’s My Refund?
    2. Enter identifying info to get your federal e-file status.

    Why Is My Refund Less Than I Expected?

    It could be for these reasons:

    • You might have made a mathematical error or some other mistake on your return.
    • The IRS might have deducted these amounts from your refund:
      • Delinquent federal or state taxes
      • Back child support
      • Past-due non-tax federal debts, like student loans

    You should receive a notice explaining the mistake or any adjustments made to your refund. The notice should include explanations of deductions for prior debts. Since your refund check and the notice come from different IRS locations, you might receive the explanation after you receive the refund check.