Last year, the average tax refund was over three thousand dollars. Since the tax brackets were extended an additional two year and many of the same deductions and credits along with it, we have every reason to believe that people will still be getting sizable refund checks (let’s be honest, despite all the “adjust your withholding” articles, very few people optimize this for fear of messing up).
So, if you’ve filed your return already and are anxious to get that check (or even better, see the direct deposit hit your account), the IRS has provided a few ways for you to check your tax refund. The easiest way is to go to the IRS website and use their Where’s My Refund tool. You’ll need your social security number, your filing status, the exact whole dollar amount of your refund, as calculated when you prepared your return. You’ll also need to give them 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges the receipt of your return and, if you filed a paper return, you’ll need to extend that to three to four weeks.
If you’re an iPhone app addict, you can always download the IRS2Go which puts the same functionality in a nice iPhone application. I think it’s better to use the IRS website directly, since the app doesn’t seem to have much more utility beyond checking your return, but it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference (neither is more or less secure).