There is less than a week to file your taxes before the deadline on April 18, so take advantage of the benefits that come with setting up a direct deposit option with the Internal Revenue Service when you file your return.
Any tax enthusiast will tell you that to get your refund as quickly as possible, you should follow three common actions: Do it now, do it electronically and get your return through direct deposit.
Do It Now
Obviously, the sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you will receive your refund. With the deadline for filing so close, early submittal isn’t something to think about now, but it should be from now on.
Do It Electronically
Don’t file a paper tax return. Paper filing (and possible mistakes) requires a manual review, and because the IRS is so backed up, it can take six to eight weeks (or longer) to process. If you file electronically instead, the IRS will likely send your refund within 21 days. The IRS itself recommends e-filing to avoid any potential delays.
There are several ways to e-file your federal return, including:
- IRS’ Free File service (free software if your adjusted gross income is below $73,000)
- IRS’ Free File Fillable Forms service (free data e-file forms if you earned above the $73,000 threshold)
- Free filing for some elderly and military taxpayers (through federally funded programs)
- Using a personal tax software program
- Work with a tax professional
Sign up for Direct Deposit
Most importantly, the fastest way to speed up your refund is by signing up for direct deposit when you file. The benefits are plentiful and even the setup is fast.
The convenience of direct deposit means that you won’t have to rely on the U.S. Postal Service to process, sort and deliver your paper return. Tax refunds and benefits are deposited straight into your bank account when they are ready and there are fewer chances for delays.
With direct deposit, you can also spread your tax refund across as many as three accounts, making it easy to manage your money if you have specific uses for different accounts, like a strictly-for-savings account or a bill payment account. Take advantage of this option by filing the IRS Allocation of Refund Form 8888 on your return.
To set up direct deposit, choose Direct Deposit for your refund method, then fill out the account and routing/transfer numbers associated to your bank account. These numbers can be found on your personal checks, through contacting your bank branch or in your online bank account profile when you sign in on your bank’s website.
Your refund should only be deposited directly into a U.S. bank or U.S. bank-affiliated account, and it needs to be in your name, your spouse’s name or both if it’s a joint account.
If you can’t or don’t want to open a bank account, you can get your refund deposited directly with a prepaid debit card. Using its unique account and routing numbers, you’ll still get your money faster than counting on snail mail.
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