Where is my tax refund? How to check the status after filing your return

By Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Business

    (CNN) -- Roughly three-quarters of US tax filers typically end up getting a refund after they file their federal income tax returns.

Last year 77% of filers got one, and the average refund was $2,549, according to IRS data.

But this year, many filing their 2020 taxes may see a bigger check than usual thanks to several new and enhanced tax breaks designed to provide financial relief from the Covid crisis.

Tax filers who expect to get money back from the government often file early in the tax season, which this year starts Friday, February 12.

And those refunds are sent out fairly quickly. The IRS notes that it typically issues refunds in less than 21 days after receiving your return.

Those who file their returns electronically and elect to have their refunds direct deposited into their bank accounts receive them the fastest, the agency said.

To prevent fraud, the IRS by law is not permitted to issue refunds to early filers claiming the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit or Advanced Child Tax Credit before mid-February.

So this year, if you claim those credits and file your return on February 12, you're likely to see your refund during the first week of March, assuming there are no outstanding issues with your return, you have filed electronically and you opt for direct deposit, said Kenneth Corbin, the IRS Commissioner of the Wage and Investment Division, on a press call.

Anyone getting a refund electronically may choose to have that money split and deposited into more than one account.

If you're eager to know when yours will arrive, you can use the Where's My Refund? tool, which is updated once a day, usually overnight. The tool, which you can also download as an app on your phone, will tell you when your return has been received, when your refund has been approved and when it has been sent to you.

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