Federal tax refunds from the IRS are generally issued about 2 weeks after your tax return was e-filed. States vary but can take much longer (New York often delays issuing refunds until March). In general, you should wait at least 4 weeks if you filed electronically, and 6-10 weeks for a paper filing before contacting the tax authorities. Be sure to have a copy of your tax return in front of you before calling. You can first try the web or automated line. If you're still not able to get sufficient information, call the number to speak to a live person.
Automated Refund Hotline: 1-800-829-1954
To speak to a live person:
a:) Delayed refund or lost refund check, call 1-800-829-0582, extension 462
b.) For any other inquiry, call 1-800-829-1040. First, select option 1 (questions regarding preparing or filing tax return), then select option 5
Outside the U.S., call (215) 516-2000
New York State (Forms IT-201 or IT-203):
Automated Refund Hotline: 1-800-443-3200
To speak to a live person, call 1-800-225-5829, then press 4 (tax questions). Do not press 1, because that will simply route you back to the automated line. Open 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.
Outside the U.S., call (518) 485-6800
Note: New York State is sometimes much slower than the IRS in issuing refunds.
New Jersey (Forms NJ-1040 & NJ-1040NR):
No online inquiry is available. To get information on the status of your income tax refund for the current year, call the Automated Refund Inquiry System from a Touch-tone phone at: 1-800-323-4400 (within NJ, NY, PA, DE, and MD) or 609-826-4400 (anywhere). This service is available 7 days a week (hours may vary). You will need the social security number that was listed first on your return and the amount of the refund requested when you call.
To speak to a live person, call 1-609-292-6400, 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.
California (Form 540 & 540NR):
Customer Service: 1-800-852-5711
Many other states have links to check a refund status online. Please see my Links page for a complete list of State Tax Websites.