June 22, 2024

Here’s when you’ll get your 2024 refund

The IRS typically tells taxpayers it will take 21 days to receive their refund after filing.

However, that time frame can be shortened to two weeks by making minor adjustments to how you file, according to CPA Practice Advisor, a publication for tax pros, which publishes a refund calendar based on average timetables for IRS refunds over the last 20 years.

“The most important factor in receiving a refund as quickly as you can is to file electronically because filing on paper can add several weeks or more of processing time to a tax return,” Isaac M. O’Bannon, managing editor at CPA Practice Advisor, told Yahoo Finance. “If you’re using one of the popular online filing systems or using a professional tax preparer, they will file electronically for you.”

Early filers claiming the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC) will face a delay regardless. The IRS must hold those refunds until mid-February by law, meaning they won’t hit taxpayers’ bank accounts until around Feb. 27, according to the IRS.

Here’s how to make sure you get your tax refund as quickly as possible.

Full coverage: Taxes 2024 — Everything you need to file your taxes on time

E-file and use direct deposit to avoid delays

If you’re relying on your refund, the most important things to do are file early, electronically, and use direct deposit for refunds to prevent delays.

Paper returns and requesting a paper check for your refund often take longer to process.

You can get your refund deposited to a bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app so long as you have a routing and account number.

Avoid inaccurate returns

Whether you’re filing online or with a tax professional, have all your personal information and tax documents before filling out your return. Returns with errors or missing information may require additional review, delaying your refund.

You’ll need records of your income, including W-2 income statements and 1099s for unemployment compensation, dividends, pension, annuity or retirement plan distributions.

Other needed items could include Form 1095 if you got coverage through the health insurance marketplace. Check out H&R Block’s tax checklist to help you prepare.

Make sure to have the personal information for your spouse and dependents, such as birth dates and Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers. You’ll also need this year’s Identity Protection Personal Identification Number if the IRS issued one for you.

If you cannot afford a tax professional but need help filing your taxes, consider IRS free file options or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). VITA offers free tax preparation for moderate- to low-income individuals, disabled individuals, senior citizens, or those who have a language barrier.

Tax Refund Check with W-2 and 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Forms

Tax Refund Check with W-2 and 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return Forms (agshotime via Getty Images)

Beware of tax scams

With advances in technology, tax scams have become more sophisticated, like callers claiming to be the IRS saying you have an unclaimed refund, fake W-2s sent in the mail, “ghost” tax preparers, or scammers pretending to be a charity.

The IRS “doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.”

Ronda is a personal finance senior reporter for Yahoo Finance and attorney with experience in law, insurance, education, and government. Follow her on X @writesronda

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