This year the IRS began processing tax returns on January 29, 2018 and the first refund should be getting issued anytime. If you want to minimize the time you wait to get your refund, there are some things you should know and could do.
Getting your refund depends on:
- How you file – electronically or on paper.
- How you request your refund – paid to you via direct deposit or a check.
- When you file your taxes – the faster you do it, the faster you get your money back.
Here is a sample tax refund schedule matrix:
The fastest time to get your refund back is to file tax returns electronically and sign up for a direct deposit. Electronic fund transfer will speed the entire process typically associated with mailing and later depositing a check. IRS states that this process – from submitting the return to getting your money – takes on average 21 days. My experience with signing up for a direct deposit has been very positive and the refund has always come within that time frame. I can’t recall how many days I typically had to wait, but it was always less than 21 days; I’d say half that time. On the contrary, submitting a paper copy of tax returns and requesting a check will take the longest to get your refund.
Where’s my refund?
IRS has created a tool to check the status of your refund. You have to provide the following information to get the latest details:
- Social security number.
- Filing status – Single, Married, etc.
- Refund amount.
The IRS updates the information once a day and it can also give you an idea whether or not your return has been processed and the status of your payment. It’s just another tool to better plan for your cash flow.
Refund tracking apps
For those who like to control all aspect of their lives with a smart phone, the IRS is there to help too. IRS2Go app allows you to track the status of your federal income tax refund, making a payment, exploring options for free tax help, staying connected with the agency, and getting a security code.