Web tracking of tax refunds grows

Where's My Refund? Web site

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More taxpayers are going online this year to ask the Internal Revenue Service, "Where's my refund?"

IRS officials reported today a near doubling of the number of taxpayers using the agency's Web site to track the status of their tax refunds, compared to a year ago.

As of Feb. 29, citizens had made 8.9 million visits to the IRS' secure Web site to inquire about their refunds. To receive that information online, taxpayer must enter their Social Security numbers, filing status, such as single or married filing jointly, and refund amount.

Taxpayers who file their returns electronically can use the service three days after they submit their returns, IRS officials said. Paper filers can use the same system, but they must wait three to four weeks after they file their returns before checking on their refund status.

The online inquiry service, which the tax agency started in 2002, processed more than 18 million electronic inquiries in 2003, IRS officials said.

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