Tracking State Tax Returns

by Mark P. Cussen

Many want to know when they're going to get state tax returns. Although it may not be possible to always know exactly, you can get at least some idea by using the techniques described here.

Check the state website. If you filed your state tax return electronically, you may be able to track your return right online at your state's tax website. Every state has a department of revenue homepage and this will direct you to the income tax center.

Confirm with your electronic tax service provider as to when your state tax return has been filed and accepted. The return is usually filed as soon as you hit the "Send" button, but it may not be accepted for another 24 to 48 hours. You should receive an email from them telling whether your return was accepted or rejected.

Try calling the state tax department if you cannot get online notification of your return status. The customer service department should be able to tell you if and when your return was accepted, or why it was rejected. They should also be able to tell you when you can expect to receive your refund.

Visit the department of revenue in your state in person, assuming that you live within convenient driving distance. Be sure to take a copy of your return with you to show them, because they may need it to track your return in the system if you couldn't find out its status otherwise.

See if your tax refund (or debit, if you owe) has hit your bank account. Call your bank and ask if they see the transaction at their end if you cannot see it online after a reasonable period of time.


  • If you paid to have your taxes prepared professionally, then your tax preparer should be able to track down the status of your return for you at no charge.