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Where is my IRS refund?

For many, that will be a perplexing question this year, as the understaffed agency is behind in processing millions of returns.

However, the IRS has a tool that tracks the status of your refund. It may not speed up your check, but it's worth a try. Here are some other tips that can speed up your refund:

  • Please double check your return for errors. Math errors can delay your refund. Also be sure to include all W-2 and 1099 forms.

  • Double check the status of your earned income tax credit. The IRS says it's possible to get your refund before March 1 if you 1) file online, 2) choose to receive your refund via direct deposit, and 3) the IRS found no problems with your return.

  • Do not call. "Calling the IRS will not expedite a tax refund," the agency says. Information available at Where's My Refund? it is the same information available to IRS telephone representatives. Also note that the IRS will not call you. If someone texts or calls claiming to be from the agency, it's probably a scam.

  • File electronically. Paper through the mail moves much slower than electrons. I do this every year and it's surprisingly easy, but you'll need a personal identification number to ensure security.

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