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Waiting for your tax refund check in the mail? Here’s how to follow it

USPS can scan your incoming mail and let you know when your tax refund will arrive.

Angela Lang/CBS

This story is part Taxes 2022CNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything you need to file quickly, accurately and on time.

Now that the the tax return deadline has passed, you can expect to receive your tax refund if you filed it on time. If you filed a paper tax return and did not set up direct deposit, you can expect to receive your check in the mail. But when will it happen exactly?

The US Postal Service has a tracking tool that lets you know exactly when your tax refund will arrive in your mailbox. It’s called Informed Delivery, and the free USPS service sends you alerts for new mail — and transmits images of the front of letters so you know exactly what’s coming. It doesn’t take photos of your incoming packages, but it tracks them and will also allow you to add an electronic signature to receive packages when you’re away from home.

We’ll explain the process for setting up and using USPS Informed Delivery. For more information on tax time and the post office, ask about the the biggest tax changes this year, CNET’s picks from best tax software for 2022 and how to tell the IRS and USPS that you have moved.

USPS Informed Delivery: track your check directly to your mailbox

Informed Delivery is a free USPS mail tracking service that automatically scans your incoming letters and can send you an image whenever something bearing your name is about to be delivered.

When the USPS passes mail through its automated sorting equipment, it creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail. Anyone who signs up for Informed Delivery can benefit from this information by having USPS notify you when each courier with your name is on its way. Note that activating your account may take three days.

As part of the program, you will receive an email every morning, Monday through Saturday, to notify you of mail delivery. You will also see a grayscale image of the front of the letter. Informed Delivery also offers free apps for Android and iOS.

Just know that signing up means you’ll see everything mail scanned by post. You can cancel the service at any time. Read on for more details on how to sign up for informed delivery.

You can also track your parcels from the post office

With Informed Delivery, you can check the delivery status of your packages and their expected arrival date. However, the post office does not capture an image of your packages. You can use the service to create an electronic signature so that you can receive packages when you are not at home.

USPS Informed Delivery: How to Get Notifications

Informed delivery has certain limitations. For example, it will work with many residential and personal PO Box addresses, but not businesses. It also won’t work for some residential buildings where the USPS has not yet identified every unit.

To check if Informed Delivery is available in your area, go to the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery page.

1. Faucet Free registration.

2. Enter your postal address and confirm that it will work with the service; then accept the terms and conditions and press Continue.

3. On the next page, choose a username, password, and security questions. Enter your contact information and press Continue.

4. On the next page, you will need to verify your identity. Faucet Verify identity online if you want to receive a verification code on your phone or press Request the invitation code by email if you want the USPS to mail you a code. You may also have the option of visiting a post office to verify your identity in person.

For more details, here eight reasons why your tax refund might be late. Also, here how to register on the IRS website without taking a video selfie.