Tax season is coming up soon. In the weeks following the start of the New Year, employers must issue W-2 statements to their employees. Once all documents are received you may start filing taxes. For some of us, the pattern is to wait until just before the tax filing deadline, which is April 15. For others however, a refund is expected so the sooner the better on getting the taxes done.
If you fall into the latter group, where getting taxes completed and filed as soon as possible is a priority, then consider the following tip for filing your taxes. Believe it or not, there is something very easy you can do to ensure that you get your IRS refund faster.
First and foremost, always choose direct deposit for your refund. When you file your federal taxes, your tax prep software or your paper IRS forms will ask you if you want to choose this option. Say yes and fill in your bank account number and the routing number of your bank. Don't worry- the IRS isn't going to steal your money this way. Your bank doesn't want this to happen either, and will have fraud detection so you will be protected. Choosing direct deposit into your checking or savings account means you get your refund much much faster than if you had chosen a paper check.
How much faster? First, after receiving your tax return, the IRS takes 10 to21 days to process and issue the refund. There's actually a refund chart where you can look up when to expect your refund. That's if there are no issues to slow down this process, like bankruptcy, math errors, or any red flags that would compel the IRS to take a closer look at your return.
Paper Check in the Mail
If you chose paper check, it's mailed out two days after the date on which your direct deposit would have been initiated. So there's two days right there. Then, there's the time it takes for the paper check to make its way through the US Postal Service, arrive at your door, get carried to the bank for deposit, and even then you're not done. You still don't have access to your IRS refund because now you will have to wait for the check to clear.
By now, if you had chosen Direct Deposit, you would have had access to your refund for days already. There's also the possibility that the paper check can get lost in the mail, stolen, or misplaced. It makes you wonder why people still choose to have their refunds mailed to them!