The IRS "Where's my refund?" site says they mailed a check a while back but we've yet to receive one.

Your refund was mailed on December 2, 2019. For information about how to file a claim because you have not received your refund check, please read the information below. If you have questions or need additional information, please have the following on hand when you call: A copy of this page. A copy of your tax return. The Social Security Number, Filing Status, and refund amount claimed on your return. Tell the representative that the 28-day waiting period for receiving your check has expired and you would like to file a claim. Please mention reference number 1001 to the IRS Customer Service Representative. IRS Hours of Service: Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call: 1-800-829-0582, when asked for an extension, enter 382. From outside the US call 267-941-1000. TTY/TDD: 1-800-829-4059.

I called the number but they are currently "unable to provide live assistance due to reduced staff levels", ostensibly due to COVID-19.

If they're unable to answer the phone, is there a form or some alternate method?

1 Answer 1


From the IRS's Refund Inquiries page:

If you lost your refund check, you should initiate a refund trace:

  • Call us at 800-829-1954 (toll-free) and either use the automated system or speak with an agent.
  • However, if you filed a married filing jointly return, you can’t initiate a trace using the automated systems. Download and complete the Form 3911, Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund (PDF) or the IRS can send you a Form 3911 to get the replacement process started.

Because the phone representatives are unavailable, you should use Form 3911 instead. Fill out Sections I, II, and III and mail it to the Internal Revenue Service center where you would normally file a paper tax return.

In particular for your situation, Section II has a place (box 8) where you can indicate "I didn’t receive a refund."

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