04/13/2012 12:55 pm ET Updated Apr 13, 2012

How To Check The Status Of Your Tax Refund

If you're filing your tax return at the last minute, the Internal Revenue Service says you can expect to see your refund in 10 to 21 days if you e-file your return. Paper tax returns could take longer to process, and refunds may take up to four weeks.

If you have already filed, the easiest way to check the status of your refund is through the IRS' Where's My Refund? website. In order to get an update, you will need your Social Security number, your filing status and the the exact amount of your refund.

For people without access to the Internet, refund updates are available in English or Spanish by calling the IRS Refund Hotline at 800-829-1954. When calling, you must provide your or your spouse's Social Security number, filing status and the exact amount of the refund.

Tax refund delays are usually because there is a goof in the return. Some common errors include incorrect or mistakes in Social Security number; misspelled names; filing status errors; math errors and even mistakes in direct deposit account numbers.

If you have not yet filed your taxes, don't worry--there is still time to file your taxes. And there is free help available to do that. But if you know you're just not going to be able to pull your paperwork together in time, it's a important to file an extension.