All U.S. citizens who contribute to taxes throughout the year receive two types of tax refunds: federal tax refunds and state tax refunds. While state tax refunds and federal tax refunds may seem similar when you are receiving a lump sum in your bank account, both federal and state tax refunds are quite different behind the scenes.
State tax returns are processed differently than federal refunds and returns. If your state taxes your income you need to track the status of both federal and state refunds. This helps you budget and plan for upcoming expenses, vacations, or purchases.
Because state tax refunds are issued by the state, or states, to which you paid taxes, if you want to track your tax refunds you will need to track your state refunds separately from your federally issued refunds.
If you paid income tax in more than one state because you moved half-way through the year or worked a contract job where travel is required, you likely must use multiple state tracking systems to check the status of all refunds.
For those who want to track their state refunds, or who have multiple states to track refunds from, the good news is most U.S. states have similar refund tracking systems to the federal IRS Where’s My Refund tool. Each state’s “check my refund” tool does work a little differently, however, so you must do a little research up front.
To provide you with accurate refund status information each state’s refund tracking system still requires basic albeit important personal information about you.
Proving your identity is the first step in the state tax refund tracking process. This is done by entering your SSN. If you do not have a SSN you might be asked to enter an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in its place.
After you enter you SSN or ITIN you need to enter the exact refund amount expected. This is a key factor. If your refund is $802 you cannot enter $800 and expect to get an accurate status update. All your information is tied together in these tracking systems for accuracy and security purposes.
Once your exact refund amount is entered you are required to enter your official tax filing status. Your tax filing status options include married, married filing separately, head of household and more. Your tax filing status might not be requested in every U.S. state. Follow additional prompts for any alternate required information as requested.