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This article was fact-checked by our editors and Rachel Weatherly, tax product specialist with Credit Karma Tax®.
New Jersey ranks high among the 50 states for tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation. So if you’ve filed your New Jersey state income tax return and are expecting a refund, you may be eager to get your money as quickly as possible.
Fortunately, you can track your NJ tax refund online or by phone with a couple of basic details. But before you check the status of your income tax refund, you’ll have to wait four weeks after filing your NJ tax return electronically, 12 weeks for a paper return and 15 weeks if you’ve sent a paper return by certified mail.
Here are some things to know about how to track your New Jersey tax refund.
New Jersey offers a couple of ways to check the status of your tax refund. One way is to check its status on the New Jersey Division of Taxation website. You’ll need to provide the first Social Security number listed on your tax return and the exact amount of your anticipated refund.
Through the online system you’ll be able to see whether the state has received your return, if it’s being processed and if and when your refund has been approved.
You can also call the Division of Taxation’s automated refund inquiry system, at 1-609-826-4400 or 1-800-323-4400, which is toll free in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. The state updates both systems weekly, and you can access them 24/7.
If there’s no update in the online system, you shouldn’t assume there’s a problem — some returns may need more time to be processed. If there’s an issue with your return, the Division of Taxation should send you a letter.
Some factors may affect the timeline for receiving your NJ tax refund, starting with how you filed your return. If you e-filed your return, you may receive your refund in as little as four weeks. But if you e-filed your return and it requires manual processing, it could take 12 weeks or longer to get your NJ tax refund.
If you mailed a paper return or sent your return by certified mail, it can take anywhere from 12 to 15 weeks for your return to be processed.
Generally, it takes longer to process paper tax returns because of New Jersey’s fraud detection measures. The state takes extra steps to authenticate paper tax returns to protect filers from identity theft and refund fraud.
New Jersey processes individual tax returns every day beginning in January. The state uses automated processing systems, but its employees do check some returns for errors — like income, deductions and tax credit mistakes. Sometimes, they’ll send letters to New Jersey taxpayers for additional information needed in order to process their returns. Note that if you receive one of these letters and you’re owed a refund, your refund won’t be issued until you respond with the requested information. If you receive a notice, you may be able to respond online through the New Jersey Online Notice Response Service.
If you’ve looked online and the system shows a check issue date that’s already passed, you may have provided the wrong banking details for a direct deposit or the incorrect mailing address for a paper check. You can check here to see if your refund was returned to the state. If that’s the case, you can ask for the check to be reissued by submitting another form on the Division of Taxation’s website.
Your refund could also be delayed (or the amount could be less than you expected) if you owe money to another state or federal agency, such as the IRS, New Jersey Division of Family Development and more. These offset programs can reduce a taxpayer’s refund if they have debts like unpaid taxes, traffic fines or outstanding child support payments. If you owe money to another state or federal agency, the Division of Taxation may withhold your refund on that agency’s behalf. You can learn more about New Jersey’s set-off program here.
If you need extra help, you can call the New Jersey Division of Taxation customer service center at 1-609-292-6400 during business hours. But take note that representatives won’t be able to confirm receipt of your return until it appears in their online system. The Division of Taxation suggests waiting to call until after the estimated processing times have passed.
If you’re counting on your tax refund from the state of New Jersey, you may be eager to receive it as soon as possible. Rather than wondering “where’s my refund?”, you can take action by checking your refund status online or by phone. And remember that some methods of filing — especially paper returns — may take longer to process. Depending on how you filed your return, you won’t be able to check its status for four to 15 weeks.
The IRS promotes e-filing and direct deposit as the most accurate and fastest way to get a federal tax refund, and the same can apply to state refunds. You can file a New Jersey state tax return for free through NJ E-File or Credit Karma Tax®.
Rachel Weatherly is a tax product specialist with Credit Karma Tax®. She studied accounting and finance at Western Carolina University and has also worked as a tax analyst. You can find her on LinkedIn.