On January 4th, the IRS announced that U.S. taxpayers would be able to e-file their 2017 taxes starting January 29th.
Almost 155 million tax returns are expected to be filed this year, which means starting your taxes and submitting them early is one of the surefire ways to guarantee you receive your refund as quickly as possible. Get your returns ready now, and your refund could be weeks away.
The IRS filing date was announced—now how to get your refund as fast as possible?
Paper vs. E-file Dates
When you e-file, you’ll save mailing and processing times. While taxpayers can start submitting both electronic and paper returns on January 29th, the IRS will not begin to process paper returns until mid-February. That later date, plus extra time for mailing, means you’ll see your money faster if you submit electronically.
Remember that you can finish your taxes and even get them to a tax preparer well before this date, but returns won’t go to the IRS before the 29th.
For 2017 returns, the final deadline for submission without an extension is Tuesday, April 17th. Taxpayers get a couple of extra days beyond the typical deadline of April 15th thanks to a weekend and federal holiday, but it’s still best to submit your returns far ahead of this date. Most returns are filed near and on the deadline, which means more processing work for the IRS, and more potential delays for you.
Tax credit delays
A new law requires any refunds from returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) be held until February 15th. When considering weekends and holidays, the IRS anticipates that these refunds will be available starting on February 27th, even if the return was submitted on the opening date in January.
Get your refund fast by going digital.
When to expect your refund
The IRS expects that most refunds will be issued in under 21 days. By checking the Where’s My Refund tool or the IRS2Go mobile app after submitting returns, taxpayers can get a better idea of when they can expect their money.
Get your money faster
If you file electronically and have no errors in your returns, you’re on track to get your refund as fast as possible. However, if you direct deposit your refund money, you’ll get it even quicker. When the IRS doesn’t need to issue a check and mail it to you, you’re cutting out days worth of waiting on your end. Taking advantage of both e-file and direct deposit gives you the best chance of receiving your money under 21 days.
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Green Dot Corporation.
Green Dot is neither a paid return preparer nor a tax advisor. Accordingly, Green Dot makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences and filing requirements that may be relevant to any particular Green Dot cardholder under applicable U.S. federal income tax laws. All Green Dot cardholders are urged to consult their own tax advisors and/or return preparers.