How to track a North Carolina tax refund

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In a Nutshell

If you paid taxes to the state of North Carolina and are expecting a refund, you can check your refund’s status by calling the state department of revenue or using its online “Where’s My Refund?” tool. It typically takes eight to 12 weeks for your refund to be processed, depending on whether you e-filed or mailed a paper return. And certain circumstances may delay your refund longer.
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Love a good mystery? Here’s one you probably want to solve right away — the whereabouts of your North Carolina tax refund.

Getting a refund from the Tarheel State could take up to 12 weeks, depending on whether you e-filed or mailed your individual income tax return. But you can track your refund for the most recent tax year and, if your refund’s been approved, get an estimated payment date.

The easiest way to check your refund status is through the North Carolina Department of Revenue website, but you can also pick up the phone. Here are some things to know about how to track your North Carolina tax refund.

How can I track my North Carolina tax refund?

First, head to the NCDOR’s Where’s My Refund? webpage and select the option to check the status of your tax refund. You’ll need two pieces of information: the Social Security number that’s listed first on the return, along with the exact amount of your refund. (You should see that dollar figure on line 34 of Form D-400.)

The tool will show you when the Department of Revenue …

  • Has received and is processing your return
  • Has approved your refund
  • Has written you a check

If your refund is approved, you can also get an estimated date of when your refund will be paid.

Prefer to speak to a human? You can call the refund inquiry line at 1-877-252-4052. But here’s a heads up: Representatives only have access to the same information you can get using the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.

You can save yourself the hassle of constantly hitting the refresh button or calling the inquiry line every day — the state issues refund checks once a week. So if yours hasn’t been written yet, the Department of Revenue says to wait at least seven days before calling the refund inquiry line again.

How long will it take to get my North Carolina tax refund?

Set a calendar reminder, sit back and be patient. It typically takes up to eight weeks to get a North Carolina state tax refund for e-filed tax returns, and up to 12 weeks for paper returns.

Filers who submitted an amended state income tax return should receive an amended refund within six months from the date the return was filed.

What could delay my refund?

If it’s been longer than eight to 12 weeks since you’ve filed your North Carolina state income tax return and you still haven’t received your expected refund, it may have been delayed. There are multiple reasons why this might happen.

  • There’s a math error on your return.
  • You used the wrong tax form.
  • Your return is missing information, such as a signature, ID number or bank account.
  • You forgot to include a Form W-2 or 1099.

The state will contact you and ask for any information needed to process your return. But if it’s been more than five months since you filed an amended return, you’ll need to call 1-877-252-3052 and choose the option to speak with an agent.

Here’s some good news though: You’ll receive interest on your refund if it’s not issued within 45 days from the date the original return was due to be filed or the date that the original return was actually filed, whichever is later. That can add a little extra money to your refund.

What if my refund amount is different than what I expected?

You should see your expected refund amount on line 34 of Form D-400. The actual amount of your refund can differ from what you expected for multiple reasons, but here are two common ones.

  • You owe a debt to the state government, a local agency or the IRS. If this is your situation, North Carolina will have deducted the amount owed from your state tax refund and applied it to the debt.
  • The state found a mistake on your return, such as a math error or tax credits you’re not eligible to claim. If so, it could result in a lower refund or a balance due.

You should receive a notice from the Department of Revenue that explains the rationale behind the adjustment, along with contact information if you have questions. Depending on what the notice says, you may either owe a balance or be owed a refund. Call 1-877-252-3252 if you have questions.

If you disagree with the adjustment to your refund, you can challenge the Department of Revenue’s decision using Form NC-242, Objection and Request for Departmental Review.

Learn about the federal refund offset program

How can I get help finding my refund?

If you should have received your refund already but still haven’t seen it, first check the Department of Revenue’s website to see if the refund has been issued.

You can also contact your bank and ask whether the refund has been deposited to your account. If you chose to receive your refund by mail, double-check your mailbox, too.

If you suspect your mailed refund check has been lost or stolen, you’ll need to write and sign a letter to the department to request a stop payment on the missing check. Include your current address, Social Security number and the tax year, and ask for a stop payment or for the department to begin forgery proceedings.

Once the department receives your letter, it should mail you a new check within 30 to 60 days. But if someone has forged your signature on the original check, forgery proceedings will take at least 120 days.

Mail the letter to …

North Carolina Department of Revenue

Attn: Customer Service

P.O. Box 1168

Raleigh, NC 27602-1168

You may also fax your request to 1-919-733-5750.

Bottom line

If you believe you’re due a refund, you’re probably eager to receive it. Fortunately, the Tarheel State makes it easy for North Carolina taxpayers to track their state tax refund. You may also find helpful information on the Department of Revenue’s frequently asked questions page.

About the author: Kim Porter is a writer and editor who has written for AARP the Magazine, Credit Karma,, U.S. News & World Report, and more. Her favorite topics include maximizing credit card rewards and budgeting. Wh… Read more.