The Internal Revenue Service is gearing up to kick off tax filing season on January 30 and has announced a new and improved version of its refund lookup tool, “Where’s My Refund?” If you e-file, you can get personalized refund information within 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return–or four long weeks if you mail in a paper return. Yes, the IRS wants you to e-file.

You can check on your refund on the IRS mobile app, IRS2Go, or on the IRS web page here (remember it won’t work until Jan. 30). You’ll need your social security number, your filing status (married, single, head of household) and the exact dollar amount of the refund you’re expecting. That’s all on your tax return.

“Where’s My Refund?” includes a tracker that displays your refund’s progress through three stages:

(1) Return Received

(2) Refund Approved

(3) Refund Sent.

You’ll get an actual refund date as soon as the IRS processes your tax return and approves your refund. Most refunds will be issued in less than 21 days. Last year, the IRS issued more than 9 out of 10 refunds to taxpayers in less than 21 days, and it expects the same results in 2013.

February 2, 2013 12:00 am