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What to do if you think your refund check has been lost or stolen

What to do if you think your refund check has been lost or stolen
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There are different scenarios for what actions to take if a refund check is thought to have been lost or stolen. In all cases, the approximate waiting time is an additional six weeks.

One of the most anticipated moments in tax season is the refund. However, this stage can become a problem if you think your refund check was stolen or lost.

Since last March 1, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed that the first refunds began to arrive, mainly for those who made an electronic declaration.

Before making any decisions, there are a few important points to remember about the IRS’s timing of returns.


What you need to know about the refund check

Before trying to rush to the nearest IRS office, the first thing to do is confirm the procedure’s status in the “Where’s my refund” service.

Remember that the information offered their lets you know if the return had any problem and the stage in which the refund is.

This platform may indicate that the declaration is “still in process,” which means you just have to wait a little longer.

However, if the service indicates that the refund has already been issued, and several days have passed since then, it is time to trace the check or deposit.

What dates you must take into account to receive the refunds

The first thing you should know is that the IRS does not send any refund before 21 days after a taxpayer’s return is received.

The preceding means that if the declaration were received without errors, after 21 days, the deposit would arrive with great certainty.

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Please consider that the IRS has millions of backlogs due to a lack of staff, although it has already announced that it will hire 10,000 workers to combat this problem.

However, if the “Where’s My Refund” platform indicates that the check or deposit was sent, and five days have passed after the normal period of 21 days. You may start to think that your refund was stolen or lost.

For refunds requested by mailed check, you should allow about six weeks from the notice that the refund was sent.



What can you do to get your tax refund tracked?

It would be best to ask the IRS to trace the check or deposit in question.

But like everything in the world of taxes, it is necessary to fill out Form 3911 and send it by mail.

This document tells the IRS that you have not received the refund and should launch an investigation.


You can expect six to eight weeks from when you submit this form for a response.

At this point, the figure to keep in mind is “six weeks.” This period is what is expected in case:

  • The bank has been notified and must track a direct refund deposit
  • The check has been sent but not cashed, and therefore the IRS issues a new one
  • The bill was sent, not received, and cashed; then the IRS will send you a claim kit

Keep in mind that the Tax Service Office may also deny your request, and you will then have to initiate an appeal process.

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