Leaving aside the debate over whether or not it’s even a good idea to be getting a tax refund, the fact of the matter is that you might be expecting one. If you are expecting a tax refund, you will want to get your money as fast as possible. The good news is that there are some things you can do to speed the process along:

Be Organized

Whether you have a tax professional prepare your taxes or whether you do it yourself, be organized. Make sure you know what you need with your tax return so that you aren’t scrambling for it at the last minute. This is especially important if someone else is preparing your taxes. You don’t want to be running back and forth between your home and the accountant’s office, trying to get all of your documents together. Get organized, and everything will go smoother — and quicker.

Turn in Something Legible

If you want your tax refund back faster, it’s a good idea to turn in a legible tax return. If you are filling in your tax forms by hand, make sure to print neatly. Get extra copies of the forms so that you can “practice” on one form. Double check for accuracy, and then copy onto a fresh set of forms. Of course, your tax forms will be even more legible if you use computer software to fill them out, or go to a tax professional (who will likely use computer software to fill them out).

Send Your Return to the Right Processing Center

Different regions are overseen by different centers. Make sure you know which center to send your tax return. Sending your return to the wrong center could result in a delay in your tax refund. In many cases, you will receive a Form 1040 booklet (and accompanying forms) in the mail. There should be a label included. Affix this label to your mailed tax return for faster tax refunds.

Use e-File

One of the best ways to ensure a faster tax return is to make use of e-File. e-File is the IRS online tax filing system. It’s a great way to send your tax return in. It’s secure and fast. Additionally, the IRS claims that e-file tax returns are less prone to error. You can take advantage of the Free File if you meet certain requirements. You can also use fillable forms on the IRS web site to complete your tax return on your own. Many tax professionals and tax software programs make use of e-File, although you may have to pay a fee.

Get Your Money via Direct Deposit

Choose direct deposit if you want your money back faster. Direct deposit allow the IRS to put money directly into your bank account, rather than issuing you a check. Simply fill in the information for direct deposit on your tax form (or have your tax preparer do it). Direct deposit works especially fast if you e-File as well. Indeed, you can have your money in as little as seven to 14 days if you e-File and choose direct deposit. Now that’s a fast way to get your money!



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.