3 Things You Can Do To Make Sure You Get Your Tax Refund Quickly

The news that you get two extra days to file your tax return this year means little to those who have big refunds coming and want to get their hands on their money as soon as possible.

Bible Money Matters offers tips to make sure the government quickly processes your return and returns its tax-free loan to you. Here are three things to remember when filing your returns:

* Do everything electronically. Rather than print out and send your return via snail mail, opt for e-filing. Also, opt to receive your refund via direct deposit rather than paper check.

* Avoid dumb mistakes. Before you send off your return, double-check it to see that your Social Security number is correct, your math checks out and you haven’t checked multiple filing statuses.

* Keep tabs on your refund status. Keep a copy of your return handy for reference purposes and check your refund status at the IRS’s Where’s My Refund? site to make sure there hasn’t been a hitch. If you e-file, your info should be available three days after the IRS acknowledges receipt.

3 Ways To Ensure A Fast Tax Refund [Bible Money Matters]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. mister_roboto says:

    “Bible Money Matters?”

  2. CubeRat says:

    Uh, file early…….Just because we have until April 17, doesn’t mean I’m waiting that long. I plan to file this weekend.

    • Tim says:

      Yeah, I’ll probably file as soon as my W-2 is available.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Wish I dealt with organizations and charities that were on the ball enough to have provided me statements and W-2s by now…really, you’ve got all your stuff already?!

      • CubeRat says:

        Nope. I should have my employment one this weekend. They post it online, usually by the first Friday of the new year. Employees can print it up and then it isn’t mailed.

        I just keep very good records of every penny that might have tax consequences. I’m one of those people that organized everything in Dec; and because I file electronically, I don’t have to wait for everything. I’ll check to see if I can save by itemizing, but I don’t think so. I only have 2 years left on my mortgage, and it was very close last year. I suspect I can go back to the EZ form this year.

        Also, in California, the state now does an estimated return for many people. You can log in and review it, if it doesn’t need any changes, you basically click file. It’s free and done electronically. It didn’t work for me last year because I itemized, but it did for my niece. It works well for most people that do not need to itemize.

    • caradrake says:

      I’ve got to wait for my husband to get his 3 forms this year. Yes, 3… for the same company.

      But once they do, I’m entering that stuff into TaxSlayer and waiting for a very nice refund to come our way. *rubs hands greedily*

      • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

        3 forms? Color you lucky. I’m expecting 5 (yes 5) W-2’s, Retirement/Investment forms, bank forms, and any other crap that sneaks up on you after I’ve completed my return and come close to filing. April sounds about right to me. Oh and what’s a refund? Haven’t seen one of those in 5 years since my college days. It’s my part-time/free-lance positions that kill me, even when claiming 0. :-( Luckily I save throughout the year and expect to shell out some cash every April, but it would be nice to get a little back or break even. Maybe this is my lucky year!

  3. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    An even better solution would be to do away with withholding altogether. Instead, let the taxpayers do their returns every year, and then write a check to the IRS. Each taxpayer does his return during the month of his birthday so that the government still has a steady flow of money coming in all year.

    No more stupid waiting on tax refunds. No more of my giving the government interest free loans. There would be reduced business costs because of not having to mess with withholding.

    If people actually had to write a check and see how much money they’re sending the feds, maybe they would think about who they are voting for every 2 years.

    It’ll never happen.

    • PunditGuy says:

      Every check stub will tell you precisely what you’re sending to the feds. And how exactly do you think it would change voting behavior?

      • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

        It wouldn’t change MY voting behavior, because I’m well aware of how much of my paycheck disappears to the black holes in Washington.

        Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who don’t know how much they pay in income taxes or payroll taxes. There was a study a few years ago (sorry, I can’t find a citation) where they asked customers at H&R Block how much federal income tax they had paid. There were a bunch who said “none” because they got a refund!

        • PunditGuy says:

          Still not an answer to the question. I ask because I see political aphorisms tossed around constantly, with plenty of people agreeing with a sentiment that doesn’t really say anything. So again, how do you think voting behavior would change if people had to send checks directly to D.C.?

          • rmorin says:

            When as humans we see real (and very large) numbers it creates much more of an impact then when money is slowly taken away in small increments every pay period.

            • sponica says:

              the very same could be said of tax refunds….getting that money back is much more rewarding than the extra 40 or 50 dollars a paycheck.

              although my tax status for 2011 is wonky bc of unemployment….I’ll prob qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit this year

              • rmorin says:

                Then put it in a CD, savings account SOMETHING that earns better then 0% the federal government is giving you.

          • TuxthePenguin says:

            He’s talking about the perceived difference between a “withholding” and having to pay in one big chunk. Assuming you get paid twice a month, you’re only seeing 1/24 of it go out every paystub. Now imagine if instead of paying in installments, you had to cut a check for that full amount. There is a huge psychological difference between paying $150 a month in withholdings and paying $3600 once a year…

        • Not Given says:

          Most people would end up on a payment plan with interest because they hadn’t set the money aside during the year.

          Unfortunately if you have to pay very much at tax time, you get penalized for not withholding enough or paying enough estimated tax, quarterly. I think it’s if your tax exceeds $1000 or more than 110% of your previous years total tax.

    • iamjustjules says:

      this is the truest thing ever.

      as a single, non-head of household, I pay heavily for the first 2/3rds of the year in order to get a better pay check the second half and break as even as possible (nice, low returns) and I can save for Christmas shopping and holiday travel and pay myself a nice bonus at the end of the year.

    • Tim says:

      Take another look at your W-4. If you’re getting a big refund at tax time (or “giving the government interest free loans,” as you put it), you’ve got something wrong with your withholding.

      • kenj0418 says:

        Compared to his plan, even withholding just enough to have a $0 amount due at year end would be considered an interest-free loan to the government.

    • mramos says:

      Sounds like a terrible idea to me. I cant quite remember the specifics of the survey but only something like 20% of people could come up with 2K right now in an emergency situation. Do you really think people will be able to save all the money due at tax time? I don’t make that much and I paid over 7K in taxes this year.

      • MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

        You have to pay the taxes either way. Instead of the government taking $600 from your paycheck each month, you would need to set aside $600 each month.

        Why should the rest of us be penalized because some people can’t manage to save money for their tax bill?

  4. deathbecomesme says:

    e-file. I get mine in about 2weeks deposited to my checking. Taxact hasnt given me any trouble these past 3 years

    • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

      TaxAct has been my go to for the past 2 years. Works like a gem, but requires you to really pay attention. One little typo can lead to years worth of pain.

  5. pop top says:

    Also remember to double-check with your employer that they have your correct address on file to mail your W-2s.

  6. Costner says:

    A better way to get your refund quickly is to not get a refund at all. Claim more exemptions so your taxes work out to be nearly a wash at the end of the year.

    I know, I know… most people like the idea of “free money” even though it is their money in the first place, and considering the mental block that prevents people from saving I can understand this. Also, when savings rates are at or near 0%, allowing the government to use your money for a few months isn’t really a huge issue.

    I’m the first to admit I’m getting a refund this year – and that is by design. I just don’t want to run the risk of having to pay in, so I don’t claim any exemptions and therefore get a fat return which I can use towards a major purchase, funding a college account, adding to my Roth IRA, or a mixture of all of the above.

    • CubeRat says:

      Others are like me, if my withholding is set up correctly for Fed (pay a very small amount or receive small refund), I owe a lot of CA state income tax. So, I just do the basic withholding, file early and dump the refund into my IRA.

      • rmorin says:

        Sort of the same with me, except I still opt to pay the state (MA) just with my filing. Federal is at or close to zero, but I owe a decent amount to the state. I just put away money to make sure I can cover it.

      • Not Given says:

        I think you can do state and federal withholding separately. You fill the W4 out for the federal and then write in the state info across the bottom and then point it out to payroll.

        • CubeRat says:

          No, I can only do one. It can be changed daily, but I have to file out the form electronically online with my employer.

          It’s not like the interest rates will make me much money anyway. When rates were better, I made sure I owed both state and federal taxes.

          • psm321 says:

            My state (MI) has a separate W-4 form. I’ve never even considered that other income tax states might not have one

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      I used to work with a bunch of people who simply could not understand that concept. I paid a few hundred every year and they all got “refunds” of up to $2K, and they were thrilled about it. They all thought I was crazy even though my weekly paychecks were bigger.

  7. The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

    4. Pray that your forms come in the mail on time.

  8. Starfury says:

    I file my taxes in mid-February after I’ve gotten my W2 and 1099 forms. We usually have our refund within 2 weeks and then that gets sent to the state for property taxes.

  9. lvixen says:

    I always efile as soon as I get my forms. This is the first year I upped my deductions to not get a refund. We’ll see how that works out. I do like having my money through the year though.

  10. KyBash says:

    There are people who haven’t already filed? Slackers!

    I felt like the ultimate procrastinator by not filing until the 3rd.

  11. zombiesatemyballs says:

    One thing you SHOULDN’T do, which I did last year, is enter your debit card number in the box requesting which account number you want your return deposited to. Yeah, I’m a jackass.

  12. kenj0418 says:

    If you’ve married or otherwise changed your name – make sure you’ve updated the social security office with your new name. The IRS checks SS#’s with them to make sure they match and will kick out your return if the name used doesn’t match the name the SSA expects.

  13. Not Given says:

    There is only one extra day, you have to file by 4/16

  14. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Ah, tax refunds. That’s why 50% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax.

    • MentallyRetired says:

      Well, tax refunds aren’t why many entities don’t pay taxes, tax policy is.

      PS Don’t forget about the 61% of US corporations (including 39% of large corporations) that don’t pay taxes.

  15. yurei avalon says:

    If only my employers did not wait until the last day of January to mail out the W2s…. /sigh

  16. laughingweek says:

    The only thing that stands in my way from filing ASAP is that my forms take until mid-Feb minimum.

    To complicate it this year, I moved in from NY to CA in July, so I’m 6 months in two states and have forms for both states, and I have to call my NY school and job to get an address change.

    It’s also my first time filing in two states. Should be fun!

  17. pookiener says:

    I DREAD filing our taxes this year. I *think* we should get a refund, but I’m worried we might trigger an audit b/c we are in the process of adopting a baby. We get to claim him on our taxes, YAY!!, but our deductions will be HUGE compared to last year b/c of all the adoption expenses. Then there’s the fact our income went down by 20% b/c I quit work to stay at home in August, but our charitable donations, etc continued at our two-income level. Plus, I can’t file until the adoption is finalized (hopefully next month) and I get his amended SSN with his new name. The one thing I am praying for is that our lower income and adoption deductions, etc will lower our AGI enough to be able to claim the interest on my husband’s student loan repayments. Not getting to deduct that last year was a SLAP IN THE FACE!!!

  18. JohnDeere says:

    already filed mine with taxact. will probably get it back before i get my w2. done it with my last paystub for last 3 years and its pretty simple never been wrong.

  19. smo0 says:

    I don’t think I’d ever put myself in a position where I couldn’t fill out my taxes online….

  20. RvLeshrac says:

    The goal this year is to have refunds available, if you efile, the Wednesday after you efile. So make sure you efile. Paper-filing is stupid, unless you have no choice.

  21. Daniel says:

    If you are going to have your accountant do your taxes for you, hopefully you have already made an appointment, but if you haven’t call them now and get the soonest appointment you can. First thing is you need to get all your information together. All your receipts through the year should all be in one spot, but if not start locating them and put them in one spot. Using a large manila envelope to put them in as you find them is helpful. When you have some extra time, then go through the manila envelope and start sorting your receipts and clipping them together. Put medical expenses in one pile and clip together, then interest paid in another, then your business deductions in another. Clip a blank note to each pile saying what it is for. Actually, it is as easy as apply to payday lender online.