You beat the rush and filed your taxes early. Having the stress over with is nice, but having that cash from your tax refund in your bank account would make the success of getting it done all that much sweeter, right? It’s true that the IRS issues more than 9 out of 10 refunds in 21 days, but it’s also possible that a review of your tax filing may take additional time. If you’ve ever wondered what happens between the time you file and when you get your refund and how quickly you’ll get that money back from the IRS, read on.
Your Tax Filing’s Journey
Once you, or the tax professional you hired, hits the submit button on your tax filing it’s just a waiting game on your side. That said, your submitted taxes aren’t just sitting around. Here’s how it all works out:
- your tax return is hit with a “time stamp” or an electronic postmark – this keeps us all on track and puts your return into the system before it’s passed on for review.
- The IRS has 24-48 hours to accept your return. This process includes them checking the personal information submitted with your tax return against the information they have for you on file.
- If/when all the information checks out, the IRS officially accepts our return and you’re put on the IRS payment timetable.
From there your tax filing is processed and reviewed and only the IRS knows that status and whether or not you owe taxes or should be issued a refund – how you file also adds to the length of time your return takes. That said, you can start checking your status 24 hours after you’ve e-filed your paperwork by accessing the IRS’s tool Where’s My Refund?
E-file & Direct Deposit
If you e-file your taxes, you have fairly good odds that you’ll get your tax refund quicker than doing it the old fashioned way. E-filing provides you with the option to have our refund directly deposited into your account and it’s the safest, and fastest, way to receive your refund – not to mention the easiest process to complete. However, if you’re still filing a paper version of your taxes, you can still take advantage of the direct deposit method.
To take advantage of getting your tax return by direct deposit you simply need to provide the account and routing numbers for the account you’d like the money deposited to. There will be a spot to input the numbers on your return if you’re using a tax software program to do it yourself or you can provide the information to the professional that’s taking care of the filing for you.
Regardless of your method, direct deposit definitely gives you quicker access to your refund than a paper check coming to you in the mail.
What to do with That Refund?
Federal tax refunds are often the largest single check many people receive – so it’s a great time to start saving or even invest a portion of your return. You can easily divide your refund into two or three additional bank accounts with a submission of just one extra form. This option gives you the chance to manage your money – sending some to one account for use while the rest goes to savings or investments for future use.
Ben Sutton is the founder of Mazuma USA, an accounting firm providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to small businesses. Since founding Mazuma, Ben has established himself as an expert in the small business world. He’s still driven by that same desire to provide accounting help to all small businesses – from photographers, bloggers and creatives to lawyers, doctors, and dentists, everyone needs affordable accounting help. Ben is a Certified Public Accountant, and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. But Ben considers his greatest achievement and credential to be his happy wife and four children.