5 Things You Can Do To Get Your Tax Refund Faster

These tips can help you get your tax refund in as little as 21 days after filing.
Updated July 18, 2024
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Tax filing season has opened, and the Internal Revenue Service has ramped up its operations. The governmental agency expects to file 128.7 million individual tax returns this year. 

In anticipation of the glut of paperwork, they’ve increased the number of people staffing their in-person centers and toll-free information line. More people working for the IRS means your tax return process could be quicker and more seamless. 

The IRS stated that those who file quickly and don’t owe taxes could receive tax returns in as little as 21 days with a few exceptions, including those with the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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Double-check everything

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The quickest way to receive your tax return fast is to have everything you need to file and fill out the form correctly. An incorrect social security number or wrong deduction or address can impact your tax return. 

Double-check the W-2 forms to ensure that the name, address, and social security number used in the form are correct. And don’t be afraid to break out a calculator. Go over your tax return slowly to catch any mathematical mistakes you may have made.

Get your paperwork in order

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Before you file that tax return, visit the IRS’s Get Ready to File checklist to compare what documents you have or need to file. You can also compare the previous year’s documents used to prepare for filing this year.

If receiving monies from retirement funds, pensions, IRAs, insurance contracts, annuities, etc., you’ll need to use a 1099-R. If you won money from gambling, you’ll have to fill out a W-2G. Various types of investments require using a specific form. 

The IRS has free forms and instructions that you can fill out online or download and fill out.

Get help

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The IRS offers free tax help to those who earn $64,000 or less, are 60 or older, have a disability, or need language help. The sooner you visit one of the IRS’s Taxpayer Assistance Centers and file, the faster you’ll get your tax returns.

File electronically with direct deposit

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E-filing ensures that not only will the IRS get the tax return immediately, but they’ll turn around and process it quickly too. Jump on the trend, e-file, and get your return fast. If you’ve never filed your taxes electronically, it’s easy. 

Visit the IRS website and create an account. Have your bank’s routing and account numbers on hand, and opt for the direct deposit option when creating your account. Your tax return will then be deposited directly into your checking or savings account.

If you are working with a CPA or tax preparer, ask them if you can e-file before working on this year’s tax returns. Most tax professionals will e-file the tax return for you.

File early

Andrey Popov/Adobe couple doing taxes

How do you get your taxes ahead of that crowd of people? File as soon as you can. 

Last year’s average tax return was $2,753. Getting a tax return in that amount (or near it) this year would be a nice addition to your savings account. Once you’ve filed, you can use the IRS “Where’s My Refund” tool to track the status of your refund.

Bottom line

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On Monday, the IRS stated it was the official start of tax season, and they’re now happily accepting tax returns. The IRS has increased its staff to help with the work involved in filing a high amount of returns. 

There’s always a chance of a “traffic jam” of paperwork that can hold up a tax return, so be sure to file as soon as you can before the April 15 deadline to get your refund faster and get ahead financially.

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Author Details

PJ Gach PJ Gach is a professional writer who has over a decade of experience covering the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle beats. Her writing credits include Shop TODAY, GoBankingRates, SPY.com, Reader's Digest, The New York Post, Rolling Stone, and more.