Direct Deposit Helps You Get Your Refunds Faster
Tax time is upon us. If you are looking forward to getting a refund this year, you will want to get it as quickly as possible. According to the IRS, direct deposit is the way to go.
Direct deposit involves having the money go directly into your bank account. You don’t have to wait until your check is mailed and you don’t have to worry about the possibility of it getting lost or stolen.
Direct deposit also saves taxpayers money. Taxpayers pay $1 for every paper refund issued but only a dime for those that go directly into their account.
Read on to find out more about direct deposit and how you can use it to save time and money.
How Do I Use Direct Deposit?
Direct deposit is free and easy to use. All you have to do is tell your tax preparer that you would like to use direct deposit and they will update their software system accordingly. If you are preparing your taxes yourself, you will be given the option through the software you are using.
In order to avoid mistakes, make sure the account and routing numbers you enter are correct. This information can be found on the bottom of your checks and through your online account. Make sure to use an account that is under your name, or, if you are joint filing, you may use an account under your spouse’s name or both your names.
You can also have your refund direct deposited onto a prepaid debit card or a mobile app. If you are using either of these methods, enter the card or app’s routing number and account number when filing. If you have any questions or concerns, the bank that issued the card or the mobile app provider may have the answers you are looking for.
What if I Don’t Have a Bank Account?
If you don’t have a bank, it’s never too late to open one to get your refund quickly and easily. The FDIC website has information that will help you find a bank and determine what type of account is best suited to your needs.
If you are a veteran, you can use the Veterans Benefits Banking Program for access to financial services at participating banks.
Your tax return preparer may also be able to advise you on other electronic payment options.
What If I Want to Split Refunds?
It is possible to use direct deposit to split your refund into up to three different financial accounts including bank accounts and retirement accounts. Part of the refund can even be used to purchase up to $5000 in U.S. Series I Savings Bond.
In order to split funds, you must use tax software or Form 8888 Allocation of Refund (including Savings Bond Purchases) if you are filing a paper return.
Taxpayers can deposit a maximum of three refunds into a single account or prepaid debit card. If they try to deposit more than three refunds into one account, the IRS will send a notification regarding the excessive funds and distribute any that exceed that limit via mail.
Electronic Filing Can Help Too
While direct deposit can help you get your funds quickly, for optimal results, you will also want to use electronic filing.
Electronic filing is free for most taxpayers and it is the safest and most accurate way to file. Those who file electronically can get a refund in as soon as 21 days although some refunds may take longer.
You may file electronically through the IRS Free File service, through commercially available tax software or through your tax preparer. The electronic process flags errors and prompts filers for missing information increasing the likelihood that all information will be correct.
How Can I Track My Refund?
You can use the Where’s My Refund tool on IRS.gov or download the IRS2Go Mobile app to find out when your refund will be arriving.
Where’s My Refund is updated once a day, typically overnight. It can be checked as soon as 24 hours after the e-file has been submitted or three to four weeks after a paper return has been mailed. It will show you information including whether the return was received and approved, and it will tell you when the refund has been sent.
The online tool provides any information the IRS has on the status of your refund so there is no need to call the office.