How To Track Your Income Tax Return

Woman on phone with IRS

Patience is a virtue, but one has little use of virtue after filing their income tax return. Waiting for your tax refund to arrive in the mail can feel like an eternity. After hours spent poring over Excel sheets, mounds of yellowing receipts, and calculating tax deductions to file one’s annual income tax return paperwork, the waiting period before finding out about a refund can be quite frustrating. Luckily in today’s modern era, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has now instituted a few technology-based methods for taxpayers to check up on their income tax return status.


The simplest, and perhaps the most straight-forward, way to get information on your federal tax refund status is to pick up the telephone and call the tax refund hotline. Before calling the IRS, you should have the following important documents and pieces of information easily accessible:

  • Current tax return
  • Social Security number (SSN) or Taxpayer ID Number (TIN)
  • Filing status
  • Expected Tax Refund Amount down to the last dollar (or money owed to you by the IRS).

If any of the previously mentioned documentation or information is missing, you will likely be unable to check your federal tax refund status over the phone.

Once you have gathered all the relevant information, it is just the matter of calling the toll-free IRS tax refund hotline to inquire about your federal refund status. There is an automated telephonic system that will answer all requests in both English and Spanish 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

If you still have questions and require the assistance of a customer service representative, try calling the IRS’s Customer Service hotline between 7 AM to 7 PM during the weekdays. This option should only be by individual taxpayers.

Find it easier to use the internet for official matters? Log on to the IRS’s website to access their handy “Where’s My Refund” online application.


Before making the call to the IRS, it’s probably a good idea to check how long it has been since you filed the tax return. If you filed your annual income tax return electronically, you must give the IRS a minimum of 72 hours before checking on you IRS tax refund status. In case you mailed in your tax return, it is recommended to wait a minimum of 3 weeks before getting in touch with the IRS. Calling before the 3 weeks are up will not give the federal organization adequate time to process your tax return. The IRS usually processes and sends out most tax refunds within 21 days.


Once you receive your tax refund, try putting a larger portion of it towards paying off existing debts. Move confidently towards the future after fulfilling lingering financial obligations with the tax refund amount. Take whatever is left over of your tax return and treat yourself, friends and family members- you deserve it for being so patient.

*Although we are a debt collector, we are providing these helpful tips because we care about consumers and their general financial well-being. Midland Credit Management does not offer financial advice. If you have questions or concerns about your personal finances, please speak to a financial advisor.

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Effective as of February 7, 2023

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