Every year after the Winter Holidays, Americans wait for yet another glad tiding whilst getting butterflies in their stomach. It should not be hard for you to guess what we are talking about. TAX REFUNDS… waiting for them is just like a throbbing ache in larynx which dissipates only after you have taken a drag of a cigarette.
Tax season can get the better of you sometimes because of various possible hiccups in filing the tax and receiving the refunds. With IRS refunding an average of $3,120 over the past few years, curious tax filers await a big payday.
Sometimes the wait can be long enough to get the better of the people. While every hopeful is in pursuit of finding the fastest way to get a tax refund, we in this article will tell you many ways to get the tax refund at earliest.
1. Don’t Procrastinate
You must be thinking that this Don’t Procrastinate thing.. it just doesn’t fly around here. However, it couldn’t have been truer than this case. When the tax filing season starts, you hit the couch thinking there is no need to file tax in a haste and you have enough time to do it.
But very soon, this sluggish attitude backfires. You file the taxes late and keep biting your nails until you get the refund. Moreover, filing your taxes late also adds to the chances of Tax refund theft. When someone steals your personally identifiable information and files taxes to pocket the refunds, it is called Tax Refund Theft.
When actual taxpayers file the taxes, they get a message from their tax software or IRS stating that you already filed your tax. The complaint and grievance redressal part take well over a month.
So filing early has one more perk associated with it; you would know if you have been a victim of tax refund theft and can sort things out before the filing period lapses.
2. Ditch the paper tax return
A paper tax return usually means a 2 or 3 months sluggish process. However, if you choose to file electronically, the folks at IRS are kind enough to release your refund within a month.
IRS Free File
Millions of American taxpayers are eligible for Free File. The eligibility requirements may vary each year. However, as of the last financial year, one must have an adjusted gross income of &66,000 or less to use Free File software.
If you fall under this slab, all you got to have is an email address, the copy of your last year’s return and documents concerning your deductions etc.
IRS’ Free Fillable Forms
This provides various forms that a majority of taxpayers need, to file their federal taxes. It is free for preparing and electronically filing your federal tax return irrespective of your income or any other parameters (unlike above).
Via a Professional or Tax Preparation Software
You have a handful of options when you wish to file electronically via tax software. People with easy returns might not even have to go for the Pro version of this software. Here are the best tax-prep software (handpicked) for you:-
In case you choose to file taxes via tax-preparation software, then your software should provide a convenient portal to filing your taxes with IRS. TurboTax has gained the reputation of one of the most consentient software for e-filing of taxes over the years.
TurboTax stands out for its design, experience and options that makes filing taxes a cakewalk. This premium experience and filters alongside attractive additional features make TurboTax a bit too edgy on the price front.
TurboTax offers an interface wherein the bot asks you questions in plain language as if you are speaking to a tax preparer. However, the bot can’t be programmed to solve every technical query. A lot has been debated on the same.
Coming back to bells and whistles of TurboTax, its outstanding features; TurboTax Live gives filers the luxury of having unlimited live tax advice.
You can set an appointment and talk to tax professional via one-way video stream where they see your screen and you see them. Upgrading to Live will add $70 to $100 to the cost, depending on your software package.
Moreover, you can also ask questions to CPAs and tax attorneys via email.
As we said, TurboTax is an expensive option compared with other options. However, many people will find the experience worth a few extra dollars.
Save up to $20 on your taxes
e-file.com is an online tax preparation software authorized by IRS which helps in tax preparation and helps in filing state returns.
e-file.com uses a simple interface that is easy to access and responsive. It allows you to take as much time as you may require and saves your progress of filing conveniently.
This way, customers can log in and log out n numbers of time and the information they fill remains intact. The company’s pricing structure is very upfront compared to the otherwise robust plan of its competitors.
There are only 3 packages. The best part is even if you pay for a premium version, but you are eligible to file taxes with the free version, the company will reimburse your payment and file your tax via free version.
The company also provides a variety of informative articles to help users understand different tax forms and guide them with the complicated process of tax filing.
Save up to 30%on E-filing
3. H&R Block
It is natural that you will have many doubts while filing taxes online (Why would you resort to software if you were a pro). If you think that you will have too many questions while preparing to file taxes online, we recommend H&R Block to because it has got the most robust support option.
You would never come across a software that includes Schedules 1-6 in the free version except for H&R Block. This implies that you can claim several deductions without even having to upgrade to a paid version.
While H&R Block is not a budget software, it also doesn’t hover at the top among the costliest software in the market; this makes it a good choice for value-seekers.
The support on the paid version isn’t second to none either. The online tax packages of H&R Block have an extra layer of defense; a fortified wall in the form of brick and mortar model to further enhance the user experience.
You can visit any of the H&R Block’s 12,000 offices around the world for consultation purposes if you feel hopelessly stuck in the marshes.
H&R Block has up the ante against arch-rival TurboTax with two new offerings:-
H&R Block’s new service ‘Ask a Tax Pro’ connects you with a tax expert and lets you have unlimited chat sessions. The service is functional across various devices and you could also connect over a call rather than sharing correspondences over email.
H&R Block’s Tax Pro Review is one of a kind feature which lets you get your entire return reviewed by a tax pro; right from perusing documents to verifying accuracy to finding missed out deductions.
Zero, zip, zilch File online for free
3. Say no to the check
Skipping the check may not be possible for everyone because not all filers have a bank account. However, opting for a direct deposit is yet another way of speeding things up. Moreover, deposit notification is like an enigma, an enchantment which ignites up your senses.
Another absurd but true blue reason in favor of this option is that the post office guys won’t misplace your check. It happens… these guys are stuck up in the past.
This may not be the most strange risk mitigation advice you would have ever received but it is more relevant than you could ever think of.
4. Know where’s your refund
This is not a catalyst to the process of getting your tax refunds, but this gives you a fair idea of when to expect your return. You could start tracking your return 24 hours after the IRS has accepted your file.
Tracking also helps you in knowing where your file is stuck (possible because of some legal quandary like Govt. Shutdown etc). I
f you have taken the conventional route and mailed your tax return, you would have to wait over a month before you start to track your refund.
Still waiting? Take a bolt and e-file your tax return with any of the three premium companies listed above.