The IRS has been offering a handy tool for consumers to find out the status of their refund.

Earlier this month, it had experienced some problems and the IRS posted a notice on the tool. This is a version of it posted on the Facebook page of Liberty Tax:

We are aware that some taxpayers who have filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS are concerned when they visit "Where's My Refund" and are told that we have no information regarding their return. This is a temporary situation, and we expect to resolve the matter in a few days. At that time, taxpayers will be able to get an expected refund date when they visit "Where's My Refund."

“If a taxpayer received an acknowledgment message that their e-filed tax return has been received, they can be assured that the IRS has the tax return even though "Where's My Refund" does not reflect that. Taxpayers should not call the IRS unless specifically directed by "Where's My Refund," as there is no new information to give them.

“We expect the vast majority of tax refunds to continue to be issued within the historical range of 10 to 21 days. The IRS is taking steps to update information so that Where's My Refund has current information. The IRS apologizes for any inconvenience and will provide updated information as soon as possible.”

When I contacted the IRS about this last week, the spokeswoman said the problem already had been resolved. But there’s lots of talk online about the problem. I asked again yesterday, and the IRS released this statement:

“The IRS successfully opened its filing season, and refunds have been issued to millions of taxpayers. When the IRS announced the opening of the 2012 filing season, it advised taxpayers who electronically file and select direct deposit that they could see their refunds in 10 to 21 days. Some taxpayers are getting refunds much faster, but at this time taxpayers should expect refunds to be issued as indicated in the original IRS guidelines.

“As with the start of any tax season, there were system validations that occurred requiring some fine-tuning of our systems. As part of this, in January, the IRS announced that some taxpayer refunds could be issued approximately one week later than initial projections they may have received, but these refunds were still in line with historical refund delivery times. The IRS apologized for any inconvenience caused by the revised refund dates.

“We are also aware that a couple of weeks ago, some taxpayers who filed electronically and received an acknowledgement from the IRS were concerned when they visit “Where's My Refund,” they were told that we had no information regarding their return. This was a temporary situation, and virtually all of these cases were resolved and they can now get an expected refund date when they visit “Where's My Refund.” When a taxpayer receives an acknowledgment message that their e-filed tax return has been received, they can be assured that the IRS has received the tax return.

“The IRS reminds taxpayers that refund time frames provided by “Where’s My Refund” and tax providers are projected time frames and are subject to revision. Many different factors can affect the timing of the refund after the IRS receives the return for processing. The IRS is providing additional screening for fraud this year before issuing refunds, but the vast majority of taxpayers can still continue to expect to receive their refunds in a timely fashion.”

I can’t double check if “Where’s My Refund?” works because I haven’t filed my tax return yet. If you have and tested it out, let us know.