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E-file is Open! Now What?

January 31, 2014 : Kristin Shaw - Editor

It’s the day many have waited for and some have dreaded: the start of tax season. The IRS opened e-file today. If you’ve had your return prepared for some time and have been waiting, you may be asking what happens next. Here’s a brief look at what’s going on.

Step 1: Tax preparation

You had your return prepared at an office, online or with desktop software. Now you want to see where it is. There are three ways to check your e-file status:

Step 2: Filing your return

If you’ve chosen to e-file your return it will first be submitted to H&R Block secure servers, where it passes through a review process. If you have prepared a state return and chose to e-file it as well, it will also be submitted.

Step 3: IRS processing

After the H&R Block review process, returns are then transmitted, or sent, to the IRS where they are processed and either accepted or rejected.

If your return has been accepted, the IRS has started processing your return.

If your return is rejected, the IRS identified an error on your return. You will need to either work with your tax pro to fix the error, or if you’re using one of the do-it-yourself products, fix the error yourself and then submit your return again.

Your state return will not be processed until your federal return is accepted. It may also be placed on hold if the IRS is taking longer than expected to process your federal return. Once the IRS has accepted your federal return your state return will be sent to your state tax office for processing.

Step 4: Check your federal refund status

There are two ways to get your individual refund status.

Statuses you might see when checking your refund status:

Refund Received. The IRS has received your tax return and is processing it. Be aware that the IRS can take up to 24 hours to update your status once they’ve received your return.

Refund Approved. The IRS has finished processing the return and has approved the refund. See common FAQs from the IRS for more information. 

Refund Sent. If you chose to have your refund direct deposited to your personal checking or savings account, the IRS has sent your refund to your bank. The IRS will provide the date your refund was sent to the bank. If it’s not in your bank account, it may be because:

  • You requested a paper check that is in the mail. The IRS will provide a date you should see it in the mail.
  • You chose to put your refund on an Emerald Card
  • Your financial institution is processing the funds, which may take an additional two to five business days from the date the IRS provides for processing. Be sure to check that your bank received your refund before you spend the money.
  • You have outstanding debts held by the government that they are deducting from your refund.  This could be back taxes, owed child support, defaulted student loans and more.

Most refunds are issued within 21 days.

If there are conflicts between the status shown in the H&R Block mobile app and the IRS’ Where’s My Refund tool, you should work off of the information on the IRS site.  H&R Block representatives cannot see or check your refund status on Where’s My Refund.

If the IRS has a problem with your return, they will notify you by mail. They will not communicate with you via e-mail, text message or social media. You should respond to all mailings from the IRS promptly.

Kristin Shaw - Editor

Kristin Shaw - Editor

H&R Block

Kristin is a social media manager at H&R Block which, most importantly, means she is the editor of BlockTalk. Before joining H&R Block, Kristin worked in marketing for higher education institutions. She loves translating confusing tax concepts into information normal people can understand.

Join the Conversation

  • Danny

    I have a deposit date of TODAY (March 4), and received a text from H&R this morning saying they are “starting the process” of depositing. I’m not complaining, bc I remember the pre-internet days when u had to wait beside the mailbox, but why have these ‘refund trackers’ if they’re not accurate?

  • Frank

    Did n office feb 4th still no return. H and r block page says accepted and irs page says still processing ugh. Cannot get ahold of anybody to help

  • trysta

    I had my taxes done on February 18th in email saying my returns were excepted but on the irs website says their still processing.I even went with their emeralx card thinkin that would be the fastest way and nothing.I dont think its ever taken this long and I been using h r block for 11 years.

  • Chris

    Filed on 1/29 and it’s still stuck on accepted.

  • anastashia

    Filed my return on Feb 3 in hr&block office, still nothing. Did my own taxes last year on turbo and got my refund back within a week. Never again with hr&block. Very disappointmented .

  • snaps

    My fiance filed on the 2nd of February and he still hasn’t recieved his money we didn’t wait this long last year what is going on with h & r block

  • kathy

    I will never use or suggest to use h and r block to anybody I know this has been a nightmare. I still havent revieved nothing over 21 days already

  • donna

    It says deposited but I guess went to h and r block back. Now how long? ??? Been a couple of days. .. next time using turbo

  • Clayton

    I’ve been waiting for almost 3 weeks, the 21 days,nothing has been processed, I filed with Hr last year never had an issue got my returns accepted processed and money within a week and a half but this year my brother and I have been waiting. Yet my friends who filed through hr block last week already have a refund date of the 11. I am extremely unhappy and I do not think that I will use hrblock next year.

  • kyia

    if i did my taxes before certain people why are they getting paid before me igot accepted on the21st. still nothing my friend got accepted on 27got her money feb 4 im like whats going on me still nothing

  • Steven Smith

    I too have the same issue, my ddd was supposed to be today, but I have yet to receive an email from H&R Block.
    Also, I check the website and it no longer shows me in the system, go figure!

  • Rachel Macgregor Mechling

    i am also waiting. had a ddd for feb 2nd an just got an email from hr block that they will be depositing in 3-5 days I’ve never experienced this delay before. i will be using another tax preparation service next year

  • Jess

    I was accepted on the 22nd still nothing. Never waited this long. I think H&r block screwed up. My taxes are the same for the last 8 years. I will never ever go back with H&r block. Next year I will look into other options. Can’t get no answers from anyone never again.

  • Heather

    And the where’s my refund thing on the irs website is saying “it can’t tell me anything at this time, wait until it’s accepted (it has been), and to try later)

  • Heather

    Last year, my return was on my emerald card the following morning. Everything (state and fed) has been accepted for 4 days now. What is taking it longer??

  • rebecca

    When will I get my money

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  • http://irs jennifer gutierrez

    I just went to know when I’m getting my money

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