The New Year brings with it optimism, fresh starts, and taxes. January means you can begin preparing your taxes for submission to the IRS, which begins accepting e-filed tax returns around the end of the month, usually. If you’re like most people expecting an IRS refund, you probably want that cash sooner rather than later. Am I right? Well here are the three things you absolutely must do to get the fastest refund possible.
Number One: File Electronically, Don’t File Paper Forms
By now I hope everyone knows this…e-filing is better in so many ways than filing on paper. For starters, you’ll get your IRS refund way faster! Did you know that if you file on paper, you have to wait three to four weeks just to check on the status of your refund? If you e-file, you can begin checking up on your refund 72 hours after they acknowledge they got your return. 72 hours is 3 days, folks. Three days or three weeks…you choose!
Number Two: Don’t Make Typos on Your Tax Return
When you file electronically, the software you use automatically checks for errors. However, it can’t know if you entered the wrong number from your W2, or transferred data from the wrong box on your 1099. The IRS will know, though, since they get a copy of your W2s, 1099s, and other tax documents.
So, if you have mistakes on your tax return, the IRS will probably notice them. What happens when they see errors is they pull your tax return aside in order to figure out what the probably is, why everything is not adding up. That means bye bye fast IRS refund. While they double check your return, your personal refund schedule just got a whole long longer. Expect delays!
Number Three: Choose Direct Deposit, Not Check in the Mail
Aside from the obvious advantage of electronic Direct Deposit over the physical limitations of the mail service, it actually takes the IRS longer to cut a check to you than it does to set up the Direct Deposit. So if you choose check in the mail for your refund, you’ll be waiting two extra weeks for the IRS to cut that check, then the added extra waiting time until the check is delivered by the US Postal Service.
Then, tack on more business days while your bank clears your check. Was it really worth it? Why do people still choose paper check? Even if you’re not especially impatient for your IRS refund and don’t mind when it gets to you…all the added hassle of depositing the check seems futile when all you really need to do is choose direct deposit and just wait!