Once you file your income tax return, the most you will have to wait for your IRS refund is 21 days. If you want to have a constant update while waiting for it, the Internal Revenue Service has provided an avenue where you can receive constant, 24/7 updates regarding your IRS refund. After 24 hours of filing your income tax return online, you can start checking your refund status at the website provided by the IRS. On the other hand, if you filed your income tax return by mail, you can begin checking your IRS refund updates four weeks after you filed them. There are three things you have to get ready when checking your refund status – your Social Security number, your exact refund amount, and filing status. For the year 2013, the IRS has provided a new tool that comprises three stages to efficiently track down your status progress.