Tax Filing Season Is Underway, So Here’s How to Get a Faster Refund

Although consumers have until April 18th to file taxes, many have already begun the process to get a tax refund.

They’re eager to get that extra money or, depending on what was reported, pay what they need to “break-even” and get back to taking care of their other bills.

For some, however, the money can’t come soon enough. Maybe they’ve been itching to take a vacation after spending so many months inside with the pandemic. Or maybe they just want to add something nice to the living room, like that new television they’ve been eyeing.

So…how can you go about getting a tax refund faster?

It’s not exactly an overnight process, as you know how much the I.R.S. is doing this time of year. That said, here are a few steps to take when it comes to speed things up a little bit.

1. Get your return right the first time.

This should go without saying to avoid an audit anyway, but accuracy is a pretty huge thing when it comes to your tax refund.

You’ll want to make sure you get all the details correct the first time around, including filling out any additional forms for those extra 1099s or making sure you’ve got the correct dependents covered.

The best way to do this is to double-check your work on your return before sending it off.

Go over the numbers twice, even if you think you’ve added them correctly. Then, once it’s all said and done and you’re certain everything checks out, sign off and get it sent in.

Doing this not only avoids the possibility of getting a follow-up report from the I.R.S. but also gets your tax refund that much closer to your wallet.

2. Leave the paperwork out of it and file it online.

A lot of people still like to file their tax returns manually, printing up the forms and then filling them out by hand.

However, by using an online service, they can actually save themselves a lot of hassle — and expedite the whole tax refund process.

There are a number of services available if you do some looking around, such as TurboTax, Jackson Hewitt, and TaxAct, offering whatever is needed for a small fee.

You may want to look around and see what each one has to offer. Some even offer an advance on your tax refund, which you can read more about below.

In addition, you can also sidestep having to use the United States Postal Service. They’re overwhelmed right now as it is, and the last thing you want is for your paperwork to get lost somewhere in the shuffle. If this happens, your tax refund could be delayed even further.

3. Go with a direct deposit.

When both state and federal tax services send out payments, they usually do so by a pre-printed check, which you can cash at your local bank.

However, there’s a step that you can take to get your tax refund in your bank account a lot quicker — a direct deposit.

All you need to do is select direct deposit and provide your banking information, namely your routing and account number. From there, once your return is processed, it’ll simply be deposited into your account, rather than waiting several days for a physical payout.

This will give you access to your money much sooner. You can get right to spending it on what you want.

4. Refund advance services may be able to help.

So you’ve followed all the steps above, but you’re still antsy about getting your hands on that sweet tax refund. Well, why wait?

There are several programs available where you can receive an advance payment on your tax refund. How much you get really depends on which you end up using.

They all have different rules and potential fees you need to pay. Like you did with online filing, it never hurts to look around to see what everyone has to offer.

Check with different accounting firms on this, such as H & R Block or even online services like TurboTax. You may find something to your liking and pick up that tax refund much sooner after filling out some forms.

Just be sure to double-check your return for accuracy. The last thing you need is an I.R.S. audit and having to pay back an advance on a refund that you haven’t received.

Whichever of these services you use, here’s hoping your tax refund arrives quickly and conveniently. Maybe you decide to invest. Or you can go on that trip to Walt Disney World. Or maybe treat yourself to a fine porterhouse steak that you’ve been waiting to eat all month. (Save us one, will you?)