Many people lament the speed the Internal Revenue Service expects taxpayers to pay their debts as well as dislike the amount of time the IRS takes to send taxpayers their refund checks.
If you are anticipating a refund from the IRS, here's what you have to do to avoid a long waiting time to receive your refund check:
Check for accuracy. While no one relishes the thought of reviewing all of the information again after completing their tax forms, it's vital to ensure there are no errors on the form that will prevent the IRS from issuing your refund.
According to the IRS, the most common errors taxpayers make when preparing documents are simple ones, such as putting down the wrong Social Security number.
Consider your filing methods. There are plenty of software and online programs you can use to file your own taxes. If you are not confident in your ability to use available programs or if your tax return is more complicated than you are able to deal with, it may be wise to turn the job over to a tax professional.
Select to have your returns filed electronically because the estimated turnaround time is about three weeks. If you submit paper documentation, your wait time will typically double.
Opt for direct deposit. While paper checks are still a viable option when receiving a tax refund, other options can get you your money faster.
Direct deposit is becoming the popular choice because it is typically the fastest and least-complicated option. The IRS will automatically deposit funds into your bank account. Make sure you have provided the correct bank information on your tax return, including the bank routing number and account number, so there are no delays due to errors.
You can also opt to have your refund amount be used to purchase Series I Savings Bonds. Bonds are sold in increments of $50, and you can designate how many bonds you'd like to purchase on your tax return form.
Get a head start every year. Although taxpayers know the deadline is coming, many still procrastinate getting their information together for their accountant and fail to stay organized when doing their own taxes.
At the beginning of a new year, make sure to keep a tax folder or large envelope in an accessible place. Whenever you handle a tax-related document, put it in your envelope. Keep notes throughout the year to remind yourself of important deductions and other tax-related information.
When tax time rolls around, you'll have all of your information in one centralized place to make it easy to prepare your tax return without digging through a year's worth of papers and receipts. By being ready to file in the early part of a new year, you can beat the procrastinators and have your refund in just a week or two, provided your returns are accurate.
Debbie Dragon is a contributor to MyBankTracker.com, where she writes about savings rates, personal finance, and banking.
More From US News & World Report
- 50 Ways to Improve Your Finances in 2013
- The American Penny: How It's Managed to Stick Around All These Years
- What Happens When Money Secrets and Marriage Collide?
- Personal Taxes
- Internal Revenue Service