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IRS Updates ‘Where’s My Refund?’ Tool to Include Two Previous Years

Ruth Singleton
Published Date:
May 26, 2022

The IRS has announced that its “Where’s My Refund?” tool now allows taxpayers to check the status of their two previous years' refunds, in addition to their refunds from the current tax year. Taxpayers can choose any of the three most recent tax years to check their refund status. They'll need their Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), their filing status and their expected refund amount from the original filed tax return for the tax year they're checking. 

The IRS noted that the Online Account remains the best option for finding a prior year’s adjusted gross income, balance due or other type of account information. 

"We encourage those who expect a refund, but requested an extension, to file as soon as they're ready. We process returns on a first-in basis, so the sooner the better," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "There's really no reason to wait until October 17 if filers have the relevant information to file now. Free File is still available for extension recipients to use to prepare and file their federal tax return for free." 

The refund tool is accessible on or the IRS2Go mobile app. It allows taxpayers to track their refund through three stages: return received, refund approved, refund sent. The tool is updated once a day, usually overnight, and gives taxpayers a projected refund issuance date as soon as it's approved. 

Accounting Today reported the IRS is continuing to face criticism from Congress over the long backlogs in processing tax returns. 

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, led by ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), sent a letter Tuesday to Rettig, suggested that the agency implement 2-D barcoding for paper returns in the 2023 tax filing season to help the agency more efficiently process millions of tax returns and speed up taxpayer refunds. 

“For taxpayers due a refund, an IRS backlog means refund delays and possible financial hardship,” they wrote. “For others, the backlog means the unavailability of tax transcripts necessary to secure a loan or employment.” 

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