IRS Reference Number 9001: What It Means for Your Tax Refund

IRS Reference Code 9001

Find out what happens if you get IRS Rejection Code 9001 when you check the status of your tax return.

If you already filed your tax return this year, you might be eagerly awaiting your refund. Some tax companies offer ways to receive a refund earlier than the IRS would mail a check or direct deposit funds into your bank account.

H&R Block and TurboTax both offer this option, with 0% APR, no-fee loans for qualifying clients. But be careful to read the fine print, as some other tax preparation companies or tax software may charge fees or interest for an early refund.

When Can I Expect My Tax Refund?

If you file taxes electronically, you can typically expect your refund within 21 days, compared to 28 days if you mail your tax returns to the IRS. As of March 15, 2024, CNET reported, the IRS issued more than 49.1 million refunds. Still, the agency is slightly behind last year, when the IRS sent out 53.9 million refunds by March 17.

If you filed your taxes three weeks ago or more, you might be getting edgy about the status of your refund. That’s when you want to use the “Where’s My Refund” website to find out when you can expect your money.

How to Use the IRS Where’s My Refund Tool

If you filed your taxes and your curious about the status of your tax refund, visit https://www.irs.gov/wheres-my-refund and click the blue “check your refund button. You can also use the IRS2Go app on your mobile device.

You may not see your refund status if it’s less than:

  • 24 hours after you filed your 2023 tax returns
  • 4 days since you e-filed a return for a prior tax year
  • 4 weeks after you filed a paper return.

To check the status of your refund, you need your social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer ID number (ITIN), your filing status, and the exact refund amount on your return.

Ideally, you’ll see one of three responses:

  • The IRS received your return and is processing it,
  • Your refund was approved, and the IRS will issue it by the date shown,
  • The refund was sent by ACH deposit or mail, and you can expect it within 5 days for direct deposit or up to several weeks for a check by mail.

But some taxpayers may see an error code instead.  IRS reference code 9001 is a fairly common error.

What Is IRS Error Code 9001?

IRS Code 9001 means the IRS software could not find your tax return status. It doesn’t mean you have been flagged for an IRS audit. It doesn’t indicate trouble with the IRS.

IRS Refund Number 9001 comes up when someone attempts to access their tax return with an incorrect TIN or SSN.

It’s similar to entering the wrong password on an email account, website, or app. It means the tax ID number you entered using the Where’s My Refund Tool or the IRS app doesn’t match the tax ID number on your tax return.

What Number Should You Use to Check the Status of Your Tax Return or Refund?

If you have multiple social security numbers or tax ID numbers on your tax return, such as yours, your spouse’s, and children or other dependents, you must enter the primary number associated with the account.

If you have multiple tax ID numbers, such as a Social Security Number and an Employer Identification Number, you need to use your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to check the status of personal income tax returns.

What to Do If You Get a Code 9001 IRS Reference Number

If you received a 9001 IRS reference number, double-check that you’re using the tax identification number – TIN – for the primary taxpayer on your tax return.  Married couples filing jointly must know who is listed as the primary taxpayer on the account to check the status of their refund.

If you are a business owner, you should only use your EIN for corporate tax returns. You need your SSN or TIN to check the status of personal income tax returns.

If you absolutely know you entered the correct TIN in the Where’s My Refund tool and still can’t review the status of your return, contact the IRS or reach out to your tax preparer. You may have mistyped your TIN on your tax return. This could delay your refund, but it won’t flag your return for an audit. It’s an honest, and easily fixable, mistake.

Does Reference Code 9001 Mean You’ve Been a Victim of Identity Theft?

In most cases, reference code 9001 is not a signal of identity theft. It’s usually a typo in a Tax ID number, either when you file your tax return or when you check the status of your refund.

The IRS website notes that if the agency suspects identity theft, you may get a letter inquiring about a return you didn’t file. Your e-filed return might also be rejected as a duplicate if someone already filed using your Social Security Number.

If you suspect tax identity theft, check your credit reports for other unusual activity, and work with the IRS to solve the issue. You may have to file  Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit and freeze your credit reports to prevent further fraud. Continue filing your taxes on time, even if it means submitting tax returns by mail.

What You Need to Know About IRS Reference Code 9001 and The Tax Help You Need

IRS code 9001 is more of an annoyance than a cause for alarm. Double-check that you entered the correct tax ID number and didn’t make any typos.

If you are facing trouble with the IRS, Alleviate Tax is here to help. If you have past-due taxes that you can’t afford to pay, we can help you find the best tax debt resolution options.

The worst thing to do is avoid tax debt and let penalties and interest add up. We’d like to help you take the first steps to freedom from tax debt. Find out how it works and get started now by calling 888-859-8291.


Why does my refund status say we cannot provide any information about your refund?

If you use the IRS2Go mobile app or try to check the status of your return online using the IRS Where’s My Refund Tool and receive the message, “IRS Code 9001: Refund Status could not be returned,” it probably means you entered the wrong tax ID number or Social Security Number. Make sure you used the correct number and typed all the digits correctly.

How can I get my tax refund faster?

If you want to get your tax refund faster, file electronically rather than by mail and make sure you have ACH direct deposit set up. When you e-file and set up direct deposit, you will receive your refund in about three weeks, rather than four weeks or more if you file by mail and request a paper check.

Is a TIN the same as an EIN?

A TIN, or Tax ID Number, is for individual taxpayers in the U.S. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used to identify businesses in the U.S. for tax purposes. U.S. citizens typically use their social security number, issued by their social security administration, as their TIN. Non-resident taxpayers and resident aliens who earn money in the U.S. use an Individual Tax ID Number to File taxes.

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