Income tax-filing season started on January 28 and the tentative government shutdown and reopen has tax returns on everyone’s mind, especially when the IRS is one of the agencies that is unfunded while our government is closed. Despite the uncertainty of a future shutdown, the IRS will still pay tax refunds, according to the White House.
Many American families rely on getting money back in their annual tax refund. The average refund was more than $2,890, according to the IRS. And, by some estimates, more than 70% of Americans expect to get money back.
Following these tips will help you to get your tax refund quicker.
Get your tax return filed ASAP
The faster you get your taxes filed, the sooner you’ll see your return. Filing as soon as the window opens lowers the risk of refund theft. Tax refund theft has been on the rise in recent years. A fraudster steals personal information and then uses it to file a fake tax return, taking the refund amount for themselves. Then, when the real taxpayer goes to file their return, they’ll get an error message saying they’ve already filed. It could take months for the IRS to verify your identify, sort out the fraud, and get you your actual tax refund. It’s better to file early and avoid the risk altogether.
File your taxes electronically
Paper tax returns are time consuming for the IRS to process. An employee at the agency has to manually input and process your records. The IRS estimates that it takes roughly two weeks to process an e-filed return – versus six weeks to process a paper tax return.
There are a number of options to file your claim electronically. Those with an annual income of $66,000 and below can use the IRS’ FreeFile service, which is already up and running. For anyone who makes more than $66,000, you can still use the IRS’ Free File Fillable Forms service. This service lets you input your data onto tax forms to e-file directly. There are also numerous tax software options and tax professionals who can e-file for you.
Use direct deposit
Sign up for direct deposit when you file. Weather or other post office delays may affect the chances of getting your return via paper check quickly. Direct deposit allows you to receive your money straight into your bank account. There’s also an option to spread your tax refund across up to three accounts. You can do this by filing IRS Form 888.
Triple check your return to make sure there are no errors
Human error is one of the most common reasons for a tax return to be delayed. According to the IRS, small mistakes like writing the incorrect social security number can stall the delivery of your refund. Some of the most common errors, according to the agency, are:
1. miscalculating tax owed based on taxable income and marital status;
2. entering data on the wrong lines of the form;
3. basic math mistakes.
If you’re not sure how much you owe or what you can claim, get help from a tax professional. The best way to get your tax refund faster is to make sure it’s submitted perfectly the first time around.
Don’t forget to sign your return before sending it in!
Keep an eye on your refund.
Though keeping track of your refund won’t make it arrive any faster, it can help you plan ahead. You can watch the progress of your tax return with the IRS’s refund tracker for federal tax refund. There are also state tax return trackers that you can use depending on where you live. It takes about 24 hours to start tracking after the IRS accepts your tax return when you e-file. If you send in a paper form, you’ll have to wait for nearly a month for tracking to update.
The uncertainty surrounding governmental operations may continue to impact the IRS during tax season. By planning ahead, filing your taxes digitally, and keeping apprised of your return, you can get your tax refund quicker.
Work with CPA Services’ team of qualified experts who can help you prepare your return correctly the first time around, saving you hours of frustration and decrease the time it takes you to get your tax refund. Take advantage of their knowledge and years of experience to make sure you’re taking all the deductions available to you and your family.