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Originally published Saturday, March 6, 2010 at 10:02 PM

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Tax tip: Checking the status of your refund

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Are you expecting a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service this year?

If so, here are some things you should know about checking the status of your refund once you have filed your federal tax return.

Online access to refund information: Where's My Refund? or ¿Dónde está mi reembolso? are interactive tools at www.irs.gov and the fastest, easiest way to get information about your federal income-tax refund.

When to check refund status: If you e-file, you can get refund information 72 hours after the IRS acknowledges receipt of your return. If you file a paper return, refund information will generally be available three to four weeks after mailing your return.

What you need to check refund status: When checking the status of your refund, have your federal tax return handy. To get your personalized refund information you must enter:

Your Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number.

Your filing status, which will be Single, Married Filing Joint Return, Married Filing Separate Return, Head of Household, or Qualifying Widow(er).

Exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your tax return

Toll-free number: If you do not have Internet access, you can check the status of your refund in English or Spanish by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954 or the IRS TeleTax System at 800-829-4477. When calling, you must provide your or your spouse's Social Security number, filing status and the exact whole dollar refund amount shown on your return.

Refund checks are normally sent out weekly on Fridays. If you check the status of your refund and are not given the date it will be issued, wait until the next week before checking back.

Internal Revenue Service

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