How Do I Know If the IRS Has Received My Tax Return?

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Filing your tax return is an essential annual task that most people undertake with a sense of responsibility and, often, a hint of anxiety. After all, ensuring that your tax return is accurately filed and received by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is crucial to maintaining compliance with the tax laws. If you find yourself wondering, “How do I know if the IRS has received my tax return?” this article will guide you through the process and provide you with peace of mind.

how do i know if irs received my tax return

1. E-Filing Confirmation

The most common method of filing tax returns nowadays is through electronic filing, or e-filing. This method offers convenience, speed, and an instant acknowledgment of receipt. When you e-file your tax return, the software or tax preparer will typically provide you with a confirmation notice. This notice serves as proof that your tax return has been transmitted successfully to the IRS. Keep this confirmation notice in a safe place for future reference.

2. Acknowledgment from the IRS

The IRS acknowledges the receipt of e-filed tax returns by sending an electronic notification to the taxpayer. This acknowledgment is commonly known as an Electronic Filing Acknowledgment and contains important information. It confirms that the IRS has received your tax return and also indicates whether it has been accepted or rejected.

3. Acceptance of Your Tax Return

If the IRS accepts your tax return, it means that it has passed their initial validation checks. This is a positive outcome, and it indicates that your return will proceed through the processing stages. In most cases, you will receive the acceptance notification within 24 to 48 hours of e-filing. This notification may include an estimated refund date if you are entitled to a refund.

4. Rejection of Your Tax Return

If the IRS rejects your tax return, it means that it did not meet their validation criteria. Common reasons for rejection include missing or incorrect information, mismatched Social Security numbers, or filing status errors. In such cases, the IRS will provide a detailed explanation of the rejection, allowing you to correct the issues and refile your tax return. It is crucial to address the rejection promptly to avoid any penalties or delays in processing.

5. IRS “Where’s My Refund?” Tool

The IRS offers an online tool called “Where’s My Refund?” that allows taxpayers to track the status of their tax return. To use this tool, you will need to provide your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact refund amount as shown on your tax return. The tool will then provide you with the most up-to-date information on the processing of your return, including the date when your refund is scheduled to be issued.

6. IRS Toll-Free Phone Line

If you prefer to speak with an IRS representative directly, you can call the toll-free phone line at 1-800-829-1954. Be prepared to provide your Social Security number, filing status, and the exact refund amount when making the call. The representative will assist you in determining the status of your tax return and address any concerns you may have.

7. Check or Money Order Payments

For taxpayers who choose to submit their tax returns by mail and include a payment via check or money order, it is essential to track the payment. The IRS offers an online tool called “Where’s My Amended Return?” to track the status of your payment. This tool allows you to verify if the IRS has received and processed your payment successfully.

8. Certified Mail with Return Receipt

If you are concerned about ensuring that your mailed tax return reaches the IRS, you have the option to send it via certified mail with a return receipt requested. This service provides proof of mailing and delivery. Once the IRS receives your tax return, they will send you the return receipt as proof of receipt. This method gives you peace of mind, knowing that your tax return has been delivered to the IRS.

9. Electronic Funds Withdrawal Confirmation

If you choose to pay your tax liability electronically by authorizing the IRS to withdraw funds from your bank account, you will receive a confirmation of the payment. This confirmation serves as evidence that the IRS has received your tax return and successfully processed your payment. Keep this confirmation for your records.

10. Contacting a Tax Professional

If you’re still unsure about the status of your tax return or have specific questions, it is advisable to consult a tax professional. Certified tax professionals, such as enrolled agents or certified public accountants, have extensive knowledge of tax laws and procedures. They can help you navigate the process, review your tax return, and provide you with guidance and peace of mind.


Knowing whether the IRS has received your tax return is crucial for your financial well-being and peace of mind. By following the methods mentioned above, such as e-filing confirmation, acknowledgment from the IRS, using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool, and contacting the IRS directly, you can stay informed about the status of your tax return. Remember to keep all relevant documentation and communication for future reference. If you have any concerns or uncertainties, seeking assistance from a qualified tax professional can provide you with the expertise and reassurance you need. Rest assured that with these steps, you can navigate the process confidently and ensure that your tax return is received by the IRS.


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