Planning for the Fastest Possible Refund

plan for the fastest possible refundThis year, the IRS will begin accepting tax returns on January 29, 2018.  Many taxpayers will be chomping at the bit to get their returns filed as soon as possible this year—and many of these excited taxpayers aren’t even necessarily expecting or needing a refund!  Instead, many taxpayers will be hoping to get their returns filed as soon as they have all their necessary documents because of the massive Equifax data breach that occurred in 2017.  Why is that important?  The IRS recommends submitting your completed tax returns as soon as possible after receiving all of your required documents as it can prevent thieves from filing a fraudulent return.

Even if you were not impacted by the massive data breach of 2017, you may be eager to have your returns accepted because you’re anticipating a refund.  In that case, here are a few ways of preventing delays and getting your refund into your hot little hands as quickly as possible.

Gather Up Those Documents

The year-end statements, the receipt logs, the donation records, the mortgage interest year-end statements—all of it.  Get all your paperwork together and ready to go so that when it’s go-time, you’re actually ready to go.  Employers must mail out W-2s no later than January 31, so keep your eyes on your mailbox for those important tax documents.

Renew Expiring ITINs

If you have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that is expiring, you will need to renew it to avoid a refund delay.  This can also cause a loss of key tax benefits.  ITINs typically expire December 31.  If you still need to renew your ITIN, you must submit a form W-7 Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.  The form needs to be mailed with original (or certified copies) identification documents by the issuing agency.  Once these forms have been filed, it generally takes the IRS around seven weeks to send an ITIN assignment letter to taxpayers.

Choose e-file and Direct Deposit

For the fastest refund possible, e-file your federal tax return and choose Direct Deposit for payment.  Electronically is the most accurate way to prepare and file your return.  Furthermore, combining Direct Deposit with e-filing your return makes obtaining your refund fast and easy.

Note About the EITC and ACTC

Taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit cannot be issued refunds prior to mid-February.  This allows the IRS to have more time to detect and prevent fraud by making certain taxpayers are getting the refunds they are due.

When to Expect Refunds

This year, the IRS anticipates the earliest refunds related to the EITC and ACTC to be issued by February 27, 2018 for taxpayers who e-file and select Direct Deposit to receive their refunds and there are no other issues with their tax returns.  This delay is due to several factors including the President’s Day holiday.  Additionally, banking and financial institutions need additional time to process and issue deposits.

For more information and tips on getting your refund as soon as possible, visit the IRS website.  Also, be sure to schedule your appointment for us to prepare and file your 2017 taxes as soon as possible!

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