Where's my refund? IRS website overwhelmed

February 16, 2013 2:41:10 PM PST
The Internal Revenue Service reports being overrun with eager taxpayers looking for their refunds.

The IRS says its website "Where's my refund?" and smart phone app are updated once a day -- usually overnight.

The agency posts when the tax return is received, when the refund is approved and when the refund is sent. They're telling people there's no need to check the website or app multiple times a day.

"I think what we're seeing is just part of the natural evolution in the refund process," said IRS spokesman Terry Lemons. "Twenty-five years ago, you desperately checked the mailbox every day."

Lemons said the number of inquiries is up over last year, probably because it is easier to check on smartphones and computer tablets.

Nine out of 10 taxpayers typically receive refunds in less than 21 days when they file returns online and get refunds deposited directly into bank accounts, the agency said.

The IRS is receiving more than 1 million returns a day and volume is expected to increase in the coming days, Lemons said. About 75 percent of individual filers get refunds. Last year they averaged $2,803.

"Every year our most common question is about people's refunds," Lemons said. "For a lot of folks this is the biggest check they will see all year."

This story was put together by our sister station, WLS-TV in Chicago, with some information provided by the Associated Press.


Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices