If your return was filed on paper, or if you efiled but something required any manual processing or more investigation, it can be delayed several months.
Here are some things to do first, some of which you may have already done. If you efiled, you should double-check to be sure the return was efiled successfully and accepted. If you used Online TurboTax, you can sign into your Online Account and check the efile status at the Tax Home. Does it show the status as accepted, rejected, printed, started, ready to mail, or what?
If the info at the Tax Home confirms it was accepted, or if you printed and mailed the return, you can use the "Where's My Refund" tool at the IRS website below to check on the status of your Federal refund.
NOTE: When using that tool, be sure to enter the correct SSN and filing status. Use only the Federal refund amount, and not any total refund amount that includes a state refund. The amount to use is on your Federal Form 1040, Line 21a.
If the IRS tool says it is still being processed, here's how to reach the IRS to inquire about the delay, but it may not be easy. Part of it is luck. I called the IRS a few days ago and found that for me it was best to call just before closing time--about 6:58 PM and quickly go through the steps below. I figured a lot of folks would not call that close to closing, and that if I was one of the last to get into the queue, they would finish off all the people who were in the queue at closing time. And luckily, my hunch worked for me. Still had to wait about 25 minutes. Some users have said they managed to get in by phoning when the IRS first opened in the morning at 7 AM, but I assumed there would be a big rush to get in at that time.
IRS: 800-829-1040 (7AM-7 PM local time) Monday-Friday
When calling the IRS do not choose the first choice re: "Refund", or it will send you to an automated phone line.
- First choose your language. Then listen to each menu before making the selection.
- Then press 2 for "personal income tax".
- Then press 1 for "form, tax history, or payment".
- Then press 3 "for all other questions."
- Then press 2 "for all other questions."
- It may then ask for your SSN, but do not enter it. Just wait. If it asks for SSN a second time, still do not enter it.
- Then it will get "tired", and you'll get another menu. Choose 2 for "personal".
- Then in the next menu choose 4 for "all other inquiries", and it should transfer you to an agent but expect a long wait.
- I usually use a speakerphone so I can work on something else while waiting.
If you continue to have no luck reaching the IRS, you can try contacting the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service for your area. They are especially prone to help if you have an economic hardship, or if there have been continued delays with lack of info from the IRS. At the following IRS website, find the USA map and click on your state, and it will give you the number of your IRS Taxpayer Advocate. If the Taxpayer Advocate can't/won't help you, ask them to transfer you to an an IRS agent. A couple of users reported that at least for them, that was a backdoor route to the IRS.
Also see this article for more info on how the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service works::