What Happens After You File Your Taxes?

Here are answers to some common questions you may have after you have filed your tax return.

Refund Status

After your return has been accepted, you can check the status of your refund on the IRS Where's My Refund? webpage. The IRS may take up to 72 hours (3 to 4 weeks for a paper-filed return) to provide information for an e-filed return, and the webpage is only updated once per day. Be sure to have a copy of your filing status, the primary SSN on the return, and the exact whole-dollar amount of the refund. If you owed money to the IRS instead of having a refund, enter $1 for the refund amount.

The IRS also offers a toll-free Refund Hotline for taxpayers who want to check the status of their current year refund. You can call 1-800-829-1954 for automated refund information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Record Keeping

Tax records should be kept for a minimum of three years from the filing date. There are some documents that you will need to keep longer - those relating to a home purchase or sale, stock transactions, IRAs, and business or rental property. You should keep these not only for your personal records, but also for filing future returns.

Change of Address

If you change your address after you have filed your return, you should send Form 8822 Change of Address to the IRS. If you are expecting a refund through the mail, you should also file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service so they can forward your refund check to the correct address.

Mistakes and Amending Your Return

If you notice a mistake after your e-filed return has been accepted or after mailing a paper return, wait until you receive your refund before you do anything. The IRS will often catch simple omissions or minor mistakes. It is possible that they will correct the error for you and adjust your refund accordingly. If this is the case, you would not need to file an amended return. To correct any mistakes (or add a W-2, 1099, etc.) after receiving your refund, you will need to file IRS Form 1040-X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

For tax years before 2022, amended returns must be mailed to the IRS. Form 1040-X can be e-filed starting with tax year 2021. Go to our Form 1040-X - How to Create an Amended Return FAQ for steps to amend your return. Make sure to print a copy of the return you originally filed before making any changes for your amended return.

Related Links

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the webpage or document at the time it is accessed.