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Learn Who to Contact to Check Your Tax Refund Status

Written by Nickel - 20 Comments

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While a lot of your probably haven’t filed your taxes yet — neither have we — many others have. It’s therefore likely that people are starting to wonder when they’ll receive their refund.

How to Check Your Tax Refund Status

The good news is that IRS has a refund hotline (800–829–1954) as well as an online “Refund Status” tool for finding our when you can expect your refund. Whether you call or go online, you’ll need your social security number, filing status, and exact refund amount to get an answer.

If they’re unable to locate your tax refund information, you’ll be asked to provide the approximate date that you filed as well as how you filed (paper or electronic). If they still can’t find your refund info, you’ll need to call the IRS for an answer.

Refund check for wrong amount

If your refund showed up but was for the wrong amount, then read on…

If your receive an unexpected check, or a check for more than you expected, don’t cash it until you receive a notice from the IRS explaining the discrepancy.

If you receive a smaller refund than you anticipated, you can go ahead and cash the check. If it is later determined that you should have received more, you should receive a check for the difference.

Either way, if you have questions about the amount of your refund, you can reach the IRA at 800-829-1040. Note that they ask you to wait two weeks from receipt of the erroneous check to provide time for any mailed notices to show up.

Published on February 24th, 2010 - 20 Comments
Filed under: Taxes

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I filed this morning, so hopefully I’ll get my refund next week or the week after.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 24th 2010 @ 12:14 pm
  2. RE: Refund check in the wrong amount (more than you expected)…

    Definitely do not cash the check!

    Hold it and wait for the IRS to respond.

    We got a greater than expected Fed refund check once. We immediately contacted the IRS and waited for their reply. They did issue another check for the proper amount.

    I don’t recall what their instructions were in dealing with the original check. We probably voided it and sent it back.

    Thank you, Nickel, for the words of caution!

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 25th 2010 @ 10:12 am
  3. I read this article yesterday, then checked the direct deposit from a couple days ago. Sure enough it was exactly $800 higher than expected. I did some checking and it looks like the $800 is for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.

    Has anyone else received the extra $400 or $800 and talked to the IRS about it to confirm?

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 27th 2010 @ 10:02 am
  4. So I believe I figured out what happened. Turns out if you filed via a 1040 or 1040A and did not file a Schedule M, then the IRS assumes you did not receive the Making Work Pay Tax Credit from your employer.

    Hope this information helps someone to avoid having to file an amended return.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 27th 2010 @ 10:38 am
  5. Last comment….
    Turns out, after filling out schedule M, that I was entitled to the $800 credit. The IRS just added it on. This is the first time I have ever seen the IRS give a credit when it was not asked for. Definitely a good surprise.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 27th 2010 @ 6:36 pm
  6. Apparently even if your employer lowered your withholding, thus giving you a few dollars more per paycheck over the course of 2009 totaling $400, you will still get the $400 extra from the IRS. Schedule M, whether completed and sent with your return or not, provides a $400 credit (uping your total tax payment and making it that much greater than your total tax owed). If you did not complete sch M, the IRS is adding the $400 for you.

    I called the IRS and asked if this was double dipping and #7517598 basically said yes. Apparently some employers did not lower the withholding, so now EVERYONE is getting the credit.

    This is from the instructions to Sch. M.

    Even if your federal Line 5 income tax withholding was reduced during 2009 because of the credit, you must
    complete Schedule M and claim the credit on your return to benefit from it.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 5th 2010 @ 2:24 pm
  7. I might also add the following…If the my withholding had NOT been lowered (which would have in turn lowered my AGI by $400), I would have received even more money back from the IRS if I (or they) used the Sch M $400 credit $1810. I would have also received more if NO Make Work Pay credit had been given during the year or via Sch M, $1410 (meaning I would have been over paying the most during the year). I got $1310 with the IRS in affect adding the $400 Sch. M credit. I was slated to get $910 with the lowered withholding throughout the year and NO Sch M credit.

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 5th 2010 @ 3:25 pm
  8. I don’t owe any money ($0) because I started a business this year and have not made any money yet (lost money actually). Can I still get a refund that’s more than $0?? Not sure how this all works.

    Comment by Anonymous — Apr 12th 2010 @ 6:59 pm
  9. I let someone file my taxes from their home and i never recieved a refund

    Comment by Anonymous — May 28th 2010 @ 4:46 pm
  10. until today i have not received my tax free in my credit card from London Hethrow VAT Office.

    I asked the employee there for a receipt but he said we don’t give receipts for credit card refund, and the amout should be in your credit card within 2 weeks.

    whome shall i complain to??

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2010 @ 3:26 am
  11. i forgot to mention i lift Hethrow on 24th Sep., 2010

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2010 @ 3:31 am
  12. Question is this — I realize now (after submitting my 1040 online) that I have made the mistake of taking the Making Work Pay credit for $800 and now know I should not have done that. What can I do at this point. I am so nervous about this. Can anyone give me some for sure advice? I would appreciate anything. Thanks.

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 7th 2011 @ 10:39 am
  13. I did my taxes on Turbo Tax, they had said my refund amount would be $286. I then checked the online “Where’s My Refund” Status a few days later and they let me know that I owed them some from the previous year. I then checked the “Wehre’s my Refund” a few more days later and it told me that on Feb. 18th I should receive $157.96 direc deposited.

    I got $21.54 today as a tax credit but that’s it and I can’t get anyone on the phone to find out why…Any Idea’s ??

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 18th 2011 @ 5:41 pm
  14. I did not file my taxes last year. I made less then 15,000 and thought i didn’t have too. But now I worried that since I did not file them if somebody knows if they will hold my refund till i take care of the 2009 taxes?? I have a pretty decent refund coming my way this year so I am worried I am not going to recieve it. It has already came up on the “wheres my refund website and they have given me a issue date for my money for this year. any help would be appreciated..

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 24th 2011 @ 4:01 pm
  15. I never filed my taxes from last year,will that hold up receiving my refund this year?

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 1st 2012 @ 5:18 pm
  16. i was suppose to recieve 5271$ for my federal tax return they put on the wmr website that it was reduced to 5260.10. well i recieved my refund today and it was for 2886$ more than 2000$ short.has anyone had this problem and why would it happen?

    Comment by Anonymous — Mar 20th 2013 @ 8:28 pm
  17. Soo my fed return was sapost to be 2k and my state like 400 ive had so many issues this tax season and im not sure what happened but my account posted I had got my fed return and I checked and they only put a hundred and something? Why and how do I fix it?

    Comment by Anonymous — Feb 19th 2014 @ 11:13 pm
  18. My refund supposed to be $5810 and I received $3034.
    They don’t even send me a letter first to let me know if I owe them or not. But I remember that I owed them for the year 2009 which looks like the same amount that they re hold from my refund an amount which I had already been paid. It was in 2011 they sent me a letter to let me know that I owe them $4000 and something, I made an amendment and they sent me another letter telling me that I owe them $2776 which I had paid but I can’t find where I put the recipe in case they will ask me to send it to them.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 1st 2014 @ 7:37 pm
  19. When I checked my refund status on the tax phone number it just say I will be notified when my check has been sent does that mean I figured my refund wrong

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 30th 2015 @ 10:15 am
  20. My husband and I are going through a divorce. It is in court papers that we are filed jointly.and agreed to split it equally. But my husband refuses to give a copy of tax return. He filed on turbo tax and I haven’t seen the return. Is there anyway that I can find out about the refund. I can’t do the Wheres my refund because I don’t know the refund amount.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 25th 2016 @ 6:07 pm

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