Most often, the word "tax" does not usually elicit the most pleasant thoughts-- that is, unless the word "refund" is tacked on at the end. Users can download a dedicated IRS app that can instantly tell them the status and amount of their refund.

The IRS2Go app will not only inform you of your refund status, but can also pinpoint exactly where your taxes are in the filing process. Whether you filed yourself or used a tax preparation service or program, you can start tracking your refund almost instantly.

Within 24 hours after filing, your status will be displayed, as the IRS2Go app updates once daily, usually overnight. If you've filed your taxes via snail mail, however, it can take up to 4 weeks for your status to show up on the app, which is one great reason to file electronically, as most Americans currently do.

All you need to do is download the IRS2Go app from the App Store or Google Play Store, depending on whether you have an iOS or an Android device. Once you've downloaded, open the app, hit "refund status", and enter the required information, which includes your social security number and estimated refund amount.

You can also use your desktop or laptop computer to check your status in a very similar way, using the IRS Refund Status Tool. Just enter the same information required on the app, and the refund status should display.

You can also use the IRS2Go app to research prior tax records and information associated with your account, and request a hard copy to be mailed to you by the IRS within several days. This can be especially useful prior to filing, if you or your preparer need additional information.

Be very careful not to enter sensitive personal details, such as your social security number, on any device that you do not own or control personally. Also make sure you are using only the official IRS website or app, the links for which are provided above.

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