Want your tax refund faster? Here’s what to do

However you feel about doing your taxes, chances are, if you expect a refund, you’ll want it fast.

The IRS says it usually issues federal refunds within 21 calendar days of accepting your tax return, assuming there are no problems. (More on those in a minute.)

Tom O’Sabin, director of tax content for the National Association of Tax Professionals, said some of his clients have received their refunds in less than 10 days.

But to get your money sent to you as soon as possible after you file your return, you’ll want to do all of the following:

Paper returns take longer for the IRS to process – and can add weeks, if not months, to when you get your refund.

“If you file on paper and are expecting a refund, it may take four weeks or longer to process your return,” the IRS notes on its website.

You can instruct the IRS to deposit your money into one, two or three of your financial accounts by filling out Form 8888.

For example, you may choose to direct deposit one portion into your checking account, and another Saving And the rest in an IRA account.

But avoid this time-consuming mistake: If you are married to file jointly, make sure that the account(s) you choose for direct deposit are held jointly with your spouse, not that an individual account for either of you. Otherwise, the refund won’t be deposited and will go “on hold” until you correct the situation, says Enrolled Agent Carla Dennis, founder and ce of tax firm Carla Dennis & Associates. O said. “It happens all the time.”

In some cases, instead of a financial account, you can deposit your refund to a prepaid debit card. But the FDIC urges filers to “read the fine print and make sure you know how to deposit money on the card and any fees involved. There is a difference in the fees charged for the process and certain transactions.

Your refund may be withheld if your return does not match the information you provided on file with the IRS, simple errors or typos, math errors on your part, or if it contains Missing documents—all avoidable if you take care to double-check everything before filing.

For example, the IRS won’t accept your return if its system finds a match between your Social Security number and the first four letters of your last name, O’Saben said.

This can be a problem if you recently married and changed your last name but failed to notify the Social Security Administration of your name change.

If you’ve had a baby in the past year, make sure to write the child’s last name exactly as it appears on their Social Security card, O’Saben said. Sometimes the hospital where the baby was born may have made a mistake in the documents provided to you.

If you’re claiming tax credits and deductions for something like child care, Dennis said, include not only valid Social Security numbers for you and your dependents, but also valid identification numbers for your child care provider. Be sure to include – which will usually be one. Social Security number if it’s an individual or employer identification number if it’s a business like a daycare.

O’Saben noted that another case where your return will be rejected out of hand is if you get your health insurance at healthcare.gov and are eligible for premium tax credits but file a form with your return. 8962 fail to add up, O’Saben noted.

If you fail to report all of your earned income, including supporting documents, the IRS can process your return and issue you a refund within 21 days, O’Saben said. Will send you a letter in a few months noting the discrepancies. If the IRS finds that you still owe taxes on this unreported income, you may have to pay some or all of your refund, plus interest, and possibly an underpayment penalty. Big.

If you’re reporting business income on your return, the story may be a little different. Recently, especially with sole proprietors whose income is primarily reported on 1099-NEC forms, Dennis said, he’s noticed the IRS has been much quicker to flag discrepancies in income reporting. is operating from and is more likely to withhold a refund than to accept and process one. Returns

“It looks like the IRS is putting up more checkpoints to slow down its wheels,” Dennis said.

The IRS created an online tool. Where is my refund? – To help you track your refund after submitting your return.

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