updated 2/17/2006 2:53:13 PM ET 2006-02-17T19:53:13

How soon will your tax refund arrive? You can start tracking your refund seven days after filing electronically, four to six weeks after filing a paper return. Here’s how:

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Go to the Internal Revenue Service Web site at www.irs.gov and enter “Where’s My Refund?” in the search box at the top right of the page.

You’ll be taken to a secure site to enter your Social Security number or IRS individual taxpayer identification number, filing status and the exact refund amount shown on the tax return.

Within a few seconds, the IRS will let you know whether your tax return has been received and processed and whether a refund has been issued, either in the form of a government check mailed to your home or a direct deposit to your bank account using the account information you provided on your tax return.

If you prefer a lower-tech approach, call the IRS’ Automated Refund Service at 1-800-829-4477.

If eight weeks have elapsed since you filed your taxes and you have not received your refund, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.

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