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How to Track Your Tax Refund

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There’s no doubt about it, paying taxes can be painful. So why do so many people enjoy getting a tax refund when essentially, you’re giving an interest-free loan to the federal government?

“Taxpayers typically love their tax refund because they’re getting their money in a single lump fund,” says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant and tax expert at TurboTax. “For some people it's a bigger paycheck than they get all year.”

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Americans usually have big plans for their refund, which adds to the appeal.

“Many people use their tax refund money to pay down debt, start an emergency fund, or invest for their retirement,” Greene-Lewis tells TheStreet host Gregg Greenberg in this special video series with TurboTax. “Doing big things with the cash makes people really look forward to their tax refund.”

The best and fastest way to get a tax refund is to e-file with direct deposit. 

“Nine out of 10 tax refunds are issued within 21 days of acceptance when you e-file with direct deposit,” Greene-Lewis says.

“If you e-file with the IRS, you can track the processing of your return and can also track your tax refund through the Where’s My Refund? page within 24 to 48 hours after you e-file.”

If you don’t get your tax refund after 21 days, you can check with the IRS. 

“The IRS will help you figure out what happened to your refund and help you get it as soon as possible,” Greene-Lewis says.

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