Tax attorneys and accountants say that those who want their refunds quickly should file electronically and ask for a refund via direct deposit to their accounts.
“If at all possible, file electronically, and request that you receive your refund by direct deposit,” tax attorney Adam Brewer told Nexstar on Friday. “I know no one really loves to give their banking information to the IRS or to the state, but if you want your refund quickly, you have to give them the direct deposit information.”
John Vande Guchte, a certified public accountant with Strategies Wealth Advisors, told CNBC on Wednesday, that “the general rule of thumb is start as early as possible, whether you’re filing on your own or working with a preparer,” while also advising to file electronically.
“If scammers get ahold of identifying information such as your Social Security number and date of birth, they’ll file a tax return as quickly as humanly possible and claim your refund,” Vande Guchte also said. “Then when you go to file in March or April, your return gets rejected because someone already filed under your Social Security number.”
The IRS says on its website that it’s the best way for taxpayers to receive their refund.
“Taxpayers should prepare to file electronically and choose Direct Deposit for their tax refund—it’s the fastest and safest way to file and get a refund,” said recent guidance issued by the IRS on its website. “Even when filing a paper return, choosing a direct deposit refund can save time.”
Those who are getting a refund can check the status of their refund on the IRS’s Where’s My Refund page. The agency notes that some returns take longer if they are filed via paper, include errors, are incomplete, need another review, or are impacted by fraud or identity theft.
For some Americans, receiving a refund back is significant. A survey from Credit Karma, released in January, shows that about 30 of Americans rely on their refund to make ends meet
Those numbers are even higher for Gen Z and millennials, the survey said. Forty percent of Zoomers and 46 percent of millennials stated they were reliant on their tax refunds to make ends meet, it found.
According to an analysis from CPA Practice Advisor, most Americans getting their refunds via direct deposit can expect it in as little as two weeks from when they file their taxes. But the wait could be longer when people file in late March and April as it nears the deadline.
“The IRS has announced it will start accepting tax returns on January 23, 2023 (as we predicted as far back as October 2022). So, early tax filers who are a due a refund can often see it as early as mid- or late February,” the website says. “That’s without an expensive ‘tax refund loan’ or other similar product.”
But taxpayers who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit often receive their refunds later, sometimes around a month after filing. And people filing a Form 8379, or the Injured Spouse Allocation, should expect an additional 14 weeks of processing time, the IRS says.
“Most Americans who are expecting an income tax refund receive it by direct deposit in as little as 2 weeks, although it can take longer during the peak of the filing season, which starts in late March. So it’s a good idea to e-file your tax return as soon as you have all of your tax documents (like your W2, 1099s, mortgage and student loan interest, and other items),” the website says.
The deadline for filing a 2022 tax return is April 18, 2023, the IRS announced last month.