WMR and IRS2Go Status Differences – Return Received, Accepted or Under Review and Refund Approved versus Refund Sent

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This article was last updated on January 23

On my post covering the IRS Refund Cycle Schedule I am seeing a lot of comments around the refund processing status’ on the IRS Where is My Refund (WMR) website or on the IRS2Go mobile app. Clearly there is a lot of confusion as people anxiously await their refunds and are unclear of how the IRS is processing their returns. In fact if you search tax forums one of the most common questions are around differences between the 3 WMR status trackers which are Return Accepted, Refund (Return) Approved and Refund Sent (with direct deposit date). The tracker is updated daily (~3AM EST) so there is no need to constantly check it.

You can start using the WMR website or IRS2Go app to start checking on the status of your return 24 hours after the IRS receives your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you mail a paper return. As the IRS processes your return it will progress through the 3 stages: (1) Return Received, (2) Refund Approved and (3) Refund Sent.

Here are more details on each status and what each one means:

Status Bar 1: Return Received is the same as “Return Accepted by the IRS.” This means that your tax return has passed initial screens by the IRS covering rudimentary fraud checks, verifying your SSN and ensuring no obvious red flags on your return.  Your tax return will remain in this status while the IRS processes it in more detail to ensure it is compliant and the refund amount is accurate. Your refund can remain in the status for a while if it is complex or the IRS feels further information is needed.  The IRS is however saying it processes most returns in 21 days if your return is not flagged for further review.

There is no need to follow-up with the IRS if the WMR tool shows the status of Return Received. If this status is showing, the IRS is processing your return and further calls or letters won’t speed up the process. There is no status of “under review” so sometimes your status may be stuck in this status (or even disappear) while the IRS completes its reviews

WMR Status GraphicStatus Bar 2: Refund Approved status will appear if your tax return checks out and and your return has been approved for payout by direct deposit or check. A personalized refund date will be provided and the WMR status will now be Refund Approved. If you elected the direct deposit (DD) option for your refund, you will get a date by which it should be credited to your account. While the IRS does promise that it will process most returns in under 21 days, it could take longer if complications come up. This delay is what frustrates most tax payers as the IRS does at times provide limited information if errors in your return are spotted. While some information is provided on WMR and IRS2Go, the IRS will generally mail you for further detailed information. This could add days, weeks and even months if lots of additional information is need. So ensure your tax return is as accurate when filing.

Status Bar 3: Refund Sent as the name implies means the IRS has sent your refund to your nominated bank account(s). It will give you a specific date the refund was sent. Direct Deposit payment are generally processed within 5 days. I.e. the money will be in your bank available for withdrawal within 5 days of the refund sent date. Contact your bank or financial institution only if you have not received your return after 5 days of the IRS refund sent date. If you requested a paper check this means your check has been mailed and could take 7+ days for you to receive this via mail. It could take weeks if your mailing address is outside the US.

Here is more refund information from the bigger online tax providers – > TurboTax  &  TaxAct

Help! My WMR status bar has disappeared

Per the IRS, the WMR tracker graphic may disappear or not be shown if your return falls under IRS review after it is received (Status Bar 1: Return Received) because additional information is needed for your return. An explanation or instructions will be provided depending on the situation. This can happen even if you previously checked WMR and it showed the status as “Return Received.” The IRS still has your return but things are essentially on hold until the IRS gets the additional information from you to continue processing your return . You will either get directions on WMR or IRS2Go or the IRS will contact you by mail. Follow the provided instructions and return any additional information ASAP to get your potential refund and reduce any further delays. Talk to your accountant, tax advocate or tax professional if you are not clear on what the IRS is asking for.

Here a sampling of some comments and responses from readers of this site on this topic and WMR refund status/processing:

(From Dorothy) We wait and wait all year long then bam we file we get a big refund and we are told 10 to 21 days and what do we do. We sit here looking at our refund tracker we log on to WMR site and we check wmr2go we just keep watching and waiting for our Money. Then just when we are not looking something changes meaning our bars move and we check our accounts and there’s our Money. But here’s what bugs me the most. The IRS is looking at us and sees we owe them and way before we get notice or told what to do next. They are saying NOW you must pay. What if we made them WAIT. Or when a letter comes we send it back with a response we will get back to you in 5 to 10 days. Wonder what they would think. But here’s for all of us ITS OUR MONEY AND WE WANT IT NOW
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(From Brandi on her WMR experience) To those who have been told that your returns are under review I e-filed on Jan 5th last year but of course it wasn’t sent to IRS until Jan 20th (when IRS starts accepting returns). It was accepted the next day. My bars on WMR disappeared after about about a week and have not reappeared since. I was informed on 2/10 that my return went under review on 2/2 and to expect it in 6-8 weeks. On 2/24 I received a [IRS] letter stating that I needed to verify my identity before my return could be processed further. I called and sat on hold for 1hr 45 min before talking to a person. I verified my name, social security number, birthdate, address, fathers name, childs birthdate, childs social security number and the total amout of my return. By the way, none of my personal info has changed in the last 10 years. I was then told that my return would now be returned to the processing department to be completed and to expect it within 6 weeks from that day. Yes, 6 more weeks from the date i verified my information. Unless there is some other problem, then i will be contacted by mail to provide whatever else is needed. This was the worse case scenario she said but was preparing me just in case. I doubt it will be 6 more weeks or that they will need anything else but I am so upset that I have been waiting since Jan 20th and it took over one month just to receive a letter to verify info that has not changed in over 10 years. Now I’m waiting 6 more weeks for my money. I know everyones situation is different but if you have been waiting a while or were told yours is under review or you need to do identity verification, this is possibly what you could expect to happen with your return. Bottom line just don’t depend on the IRS to be fast this year. Some are getting their returns quick and then there are some like myself that will be waiting much longer!
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(From Mary Elizabeth) I understand that this is a stressful situation. My own bars had disappeared for six days now while I was accepted on the 21st. I am due a refund according to Turbotax by 2/11.  The number and extension provided below has personally helped me through my own tax problems, as well as my friends and loved ones; while the general or common number gives millions of people the “automated voice” and “runaround”.

If someone to reach a real person in the IRS office, do the following:

1) First, make sure the time is at 7amEST in the morning. (Note: this is the perfect time to reach someone to avoid LONG wait times!)
2) Call 1-800-829-0582 and press extension 633 (Don’t worry, this department is the quickest and will still research your situation to give you a definite answer)
3) Good Luck
______________________________
(From Mike P.)
 Ok I know everyone is saying the same thing similar to my problem too, which does relieve me a little. But I filed mine on the 7th of January, accepted on the 11th and WMR still says only accepted. I have been checking daily for the past week with the same result. After researching this a bit more and reading some of y’alls comments, yes I confirmed it that the IRS told me on the phone today that they didn’t start processing refunds until they opened on the 19th. Which means within 21 days of the 19th my dd should arrive and to keep checking the wmr link at irs.gov. However, some of you posted you got yours accepted on a later date and say your dd will arrive today (29th)?? I also believe that! Esp. since I filed before those people did?! Another positive was someone said refunds are deposited on Fridays and at the end of the month too and today is Friday the 29th! I try to be patient but we have plans and it is hard to keep waiting like this! I am hopeful that maybe I’ll get mine today too!

Some of these examples are likely what you are facing so hopefully the answers here can help you. Please leave a comment below if you need more feedback or want to share your experience.

Some useful IRS Phone Numbers to Get More Information on Your Return and/or Refund
Talk To a Live Person
(800) 829-0582 Ext. 652

Tax Help Line
(800) 829-1040
for human? press 1 for English, then 0, 0 again

Refund Hotline
(800) 829-1954

TeleTax
(800) 829-4477
Taxpayer Advocate Service Hotline
1-877-777-4778

Turbo Tax Customer Service Line
(877) 908-7228

H&R Block Customer Service Line
(800) 472-5625

173 thoughts on “WMR and IRS2Go Status Differences – Return Received, Accepted or Under Review and Refund Approved versus Refund Sent

    1. I filed my taxes feb 15 2020 and i have identity theft in the past so they held my taxes for 3 months so i call them yo find out because my bars got stuck in refund received because i have to email mine because i need an ipp # to e file my taxes and I didnt have it so everything was good after i called so now she told me that my taxes it was going to processing for nine weeks so I wait nine weeks after that and I called again and they said that i should be getting the money by July 30 so that date came and nothing happenned so on top of that my bars have been dissapear likes 3 times and there is no way to check my status so after July 30 i call again and they told me something happenned with that information and ask me if i received any letter and i said not one so s he said that my taxes it was going to another 9 weeks for processing again ridiculous and i was heated so the next day i called because i couldnt wait and believe what was going on so s he was once with me and make a referral so now they have 4 weeks instar of 9 and yesterday i called and they said the process it will be over in 1 more week and then they should put a date to receive my refund and is been almost 7 months and they have not sent me a Goddamn letter can you believe that and on top of that i still have no bars either so i can check my refund status,so i know what are you going thru.

      1. I have been waiting over 7,months also. I paid a tax account $350 because I am self-employed. The irs sent me a letter after THREE months, to verify my identity. I got all the way through the online ID, then was told to call. Waited hours each day, finally got through. That was 4 months ago. My refund isn’t even that big. The main thing I was worried about, is the mortgage lender needed the transcript. Since there is no transcript yet (sigh), I had to pay same accountant another $250 to do a Certified Profit Loss form. Ugh,im so over this. At this rate, I will get my 2020 back (knock wood) before my 2019!

  1. This is so frustrating. I’ve never had to wait this long before. I filed on 1/27/20. It was accepted, and the status bar said processing. Then this week, the status bar disappeared and of course it says “We have received your tax return and it is being processed.” I am aware that they claim they did not start processing some until Mid-February, but why take the status bar away? Just frustrated because when I filed, I was unaware returns with EIC or Child Tax Credit would not be processed according to the refund schedule.

    1. i relate to your frustration. It’s like hurry up and wait. Mine however, once I submitted via turbo tax said it was accepted.. and that’s also what the where’s my refund page shows.. accepted. This was ‘accepted’ (last year not accepted had to re view and resubmit my tax file for 2018) anyhow.. it’s been on “accepted for 12 days. I was hoping to see that orange bar move over to ‘processing’ . I want to pay off a debt consolidation. I need food in the house. I have two teenagers needing sports equipment. I’m like.. why was it accepted, told to wait 24 hours to see further information yet both the ‘accepted’ indicator as well as the refund status page still show ‘ accepted ‘ ..

    2. I got the same message “We have received your tax return and it is being processed” and the bar disappeared.
      I have my direct deposit to 2 different banks, IRS is already refunded $ to one of my bank account, however, the other account has not been received $ yet.
      I contacted that bank but they don’t see any schedule from IRS.
      I looked at my tax transcript and the weird thing is “841 Refund called”.
      I don’t know what that means.

  2. I filed my taxes March 3 and still no refund and its July 15th. No letters nothing. Still says pending approval.
    WTH. I’ve given up until I see it if I ever do. IRS is horrible this year.

  3. Mines say approved my tax refunds is scheduled to be mailed by May 3rd but it never sent it never went to the 3rd bar I wanna know will I recieve it this week or I’m confused on what it means

    1. I’d be on the phone until I got some satisfaction. I’d want to trace the payment .. I’d want to know if it was shown as
      cashed then I’d want or would have to have agreement as to cancelling the lost check and reissuing a replacement
      and would offer to sign a document to confirm my good faith. Good Luck to you. hope you received it by now.

  4. My refund is saying it was sent. This was on Febuary 23rd. My bank is showing no deposit.

  5. So I was checking on wmr and it told me my info was incorrect and to wait for a confirmation email even though it was accepted the day I filed my taxes. But when I looked on IRS2GO it said it’ll be deposited on the 28th…..but looking online a lot of people are having to do ID verification. I don’t even know what address they have on file and I have no way of getting to the IRS building if I give them the wrong address. So I might not even get my small return at all. Which means I can’t even pay the few small bills I have…..what do I do??

    1. very strange.. very bizarre… I read your post, decided to install the irs2go app on my phone.. entered the proper credentials and it spun as if loading then at the bottom said we cant verify your information or something to that effect.. yet the wmr website shows everything input, as correct .. loads moving foward and is stuck on ‘accepted’ for 12 days now. i dont understand because the irs2go app , once opened asks for the exact same information as the website. i’m very concerned now. what’s going on ?

  6. We cannot provide any information about your refund. You must wait at least 24 hours after you get the acknowledgement e-mail that your tax return was received by the IRS does this mean they haven’t received it yet in spite of me filling in the 3rd

  7. I field my return on the 2nd of february an now is the 20th the first week it say received then the baris disappeared all i am getting is a certification saying still being processed. Is this normal

    1. I know my bars disappeared to n says it’s being reviewed this is pathetic

  8. At first mines said it been accepted and it have been received than we go check on it a week later it said it going 2 be delayed than when i go hrblock it says it been completed but on irs it still says delayed and can nobody give me a answer on irs it say delay but on hrblock it says completely

  9. I e-filed on 03 03 2018and was told to check back may 14th so I called today that I was under a2nd review that began April26th and to call back in6 weeks this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard I pay my taxes on time but get treated like I don’t if I was late I would be fined. Us government gets away Scot free while us CITIZENS who need our money lose. I haven’t received any notifications via phone or mail what can I do?

  10. I e-filed over 7 weeks ago and my status has been saying “Your tax return is still being processed” since I started checking online a few weeks ago. I do my own taxes cause it’s just the basic stuff, (employee, married with kids) and this long wait is making me nervous that I did something wrong! I called the IRS last week and the automated service told me the same status as it did online but then it hung up on me! So AJ never got to talk to anyone about.

  11. My refund was shown as received and then the message reverted to … your return is being processed and we will give you a gerund date when available?? I then get a letter from our friends at the IRS saying my return is being “throughly reviewed”!!!! I’ve always payed my taxes and never had an issue with the IRS …. until now… I need my money… thanks United States Govt!! You have my undying respect (NOT) for holding a broke persons small tax return…

  12. Hello , So I filled my taxes February 15 , A letter was sent to me on March 7 about A 4883c , I called March 20th , The lady I spoke to told me I Was approved. But WMR says It’s still being process does this mean anything ?

  13. @jessica I filed 3/2 also and in this sat my bar left and now saying still processing did u get a update yet

  14. I filed my taxes and was accepted 3-6-18 after two days I lost my bars! I’m getting the generic still processing date not available. I’m confused by all the comments. I’m not sure if I should call early or just wait it out. I’ve been told it can get sent as early as Tuesday and I’m hopping but is there ever an instance where you can get your refund before you are given a date?

  15. My tax returns have received 03/02/2018 my return shows that it is being processed take this long to be approved will get approved soon.

    1. Hello please update if anything changes this week for u .. I filed same day 3/2 and on sat bar left

      1. What does it mean when wmr now says if u filed a complete and Accurate return u will receive a refund in 21days does that mean there’s a problem

  16. I’m not sure what WMR is but I file my taxe on 02/05 was received and accepted but when I check the IRS website and it says

    We cannot provide any information about your refund. You must wait at least 24 hours after you get the acknowledgement e-mail that your tax return was received by the IRS

    I checked the IRS2GO on 02/17/18 and it said I was gonna received it on 02/22 went back to the same app and it said this the next day and it says my information was wrong I’m so irritated I don’t know what to do I need my refund please help what’s going on!!!!

  17. Hi Robin Profitt

    I efiled and was accepted on 1/31. Lost my bars, tt 152, but still have amount and filing status on left on 2/10 or 2/11. WMR says return still being processed and refund date will be provided when available since 2/10 or so. I called the IRS today a nice rep explained to me I need to do ID verify. It was in that ID verify deptmnt. No letter have been sent to me asking me to ID verify but she said I should get one and if not received one by 2/28 to call back to have one generated and mailed some I can follow the steps to do ID verify.

    1. Catreece,

      Have you received your refund yet? IF so how long it take to received the fund cause I’m in the same boat as you are.

  18. If my WMR statues says deposite in your account on 2-22-18 would I recieve it from H&R Block that same day?

  19. My tax refund hasn’t had a tracking bar show up at all. It just says it is still being processed and a refund dated will be posted when available. What does that mean tomorrow will make 21 days since it was accepted by the IRS on Jan 29. I havent received any letter saying I needed to provide any additional information either.

    1. The same here, I never saw a bar. Not sure if it was ever there but, it’s giving me the same spill… “ Being Processed”! The amount is will on the left with no codes. I’m totally confused ‍♀️

    2. Mine says the same thing it’s been 23 days today and still same still being processed a refund date will be provided when available check back here or the app for updates so what does that mean. I guess my question to you is has yours changed at all?

  20. My bars disappeared the year before last and I never received a letter or a topic change and my refund came on time. My bars disappeared this year and I still have the tax topic 152 just as the year before last. So telling people that their tax return is in review or on hold is really misleading. I have had bars missing for a little over a week now.

    1. Yes, telling people their return is under review based on WMR having no bars and the path message and tax topic is very miss leading and completely wrong. If some one can’t back up that claim with IRS proof then no one needs to be saying that.

  21. Ive been waiting in my return sense march 10th which it said it will be sent out..but check my account nth there…go to the irs website to see its being held.i have not recieve no letter from irs saying why there reviewing it.and when i call they act lost on why its being held…i really need my money and answers

  22. I received a letter in the mail king for additional information (proof i took care of three children…nephews an niece) they had actually lived with me at least 6months out of the year I faxed the documents required and got a letter few weeks later letting me kno they had received my documents an if I hadn’t heard back fromthem by April 29th to act them in which I haven’t heard back so do you kno why on “Where’s My Refund” it STILL says being “reviewed”

  23. I filed my taxes back in Feb 5th my status hasn’t changed I called they said we have to verify my identity so I did they said I would have my refund my 27th of April well it is the 28th still and don’t have them yet I am losing my house and every thing

  24. I was just wondering if anyone knows when I will get my refund because on the IRS2Go app it says I’m scheduled to get it in the bank today. April 26th. But it still says I have a $0 and it still hasn’t said refund sent yet. I just don’t know what’s going on.Does anyone have any ideas ??

    1. Amy, Did you ever received it? If yes, how much longer did you have to wait? I am on the same boat, supposed to be DDD today, didn’t get anything, but on WMR it hasn’t been sent yet, I still have two bars.

  25. I followed my refund and it was accepted on March 3 Mines still stay being process I received no later what could be the delay

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