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‘Where’s My Refund?’ Don’t Ask the IRS

Some early filers trying to track their refunds through the Internal Revenue Service’s Where’s My Refund feature are getting a maddening response: what refund?

Glitches with the online feature are leaving taxpayers without any information on when they might get their refund, or any details about their tax returns. Normally taxpayers who enter their Social Security number, filing status and exact refund amount into the tool  get an update on the status of their refund, including confirmation that their return is being processed and an estimate for when the IRS expects to cut the check.

An update on the IRS website says that the agency is aware of the snafu and expects to “resolve the matter in a few days.” Until then, taxpayers who previously received acknowledgment that their e-filed tax returns had been accepted should rest assured that their returns are being worked on — “even though the Where’s My Refund tool does not reflect that,” the statement said. And the majority of refunds should be issued as normal between 10 and 21 days after a return is filed, the IRS says.

People who filed their returns with H&R Block have been calling their tax preparers and asking questions about the issue online, says Gene King, a spokesman for the company. The IRS says it is updating the tool to include more current information. According to an agency spokeswoman, the tech troubles do not affect the receipt of returns, so taxpayers can continue to e-file as usual.  Generally, taxpayers need to wait three days after the IRS acknowledges their return — or four weeks after they mail a paper return — before information about their refund is available.

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About The Tax Blog

  • The Tax Blog brings together a team of award-winning tax journalists from the Dow Jones network and around the web to examine the tax issues, changes and legislation that affect families, investors and small business owners. Our contributors include Tax Report columnist Laura Saunders (WSJ), Tax Guy columnist Bill Bischoff and senior reporter Jilian Mincer (SmartMoney.com), retirement-focused reporter Anne Tergesen (WSJ), wealth management writer Arden Dale (Dow Jones Newswires), TaxWatch columnist Eva Rosenberg and personal finance reporter Andrea Coombes (MarketWatch), and reporter Alyssa Abkowitz (SmartMoney). They’ll provide the latest news and insight, mine the tax code for tips and loopholes, and answer your questions about tricky tax situations. Contact the The Tax Blog with ideas, suggestions or tax questions at thetaxblog@dowjones.com.

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