Expecting a tax refund this year? Here are a few tips to plan ahead to avoid delays.
1. Get Prepared
There's nothing like a setback than not having what you need in order to file your taxes. To prevent having to visit your tax preparer twice, show up ready. Create a file for all of your forms, including W-2s from your employer, 1099 forms from banks, etc. These typically arrive
in your mailbox through the month of January. If you receive these items electronically, create a file on your computer or print them out for your paper records. If you haven’t received these forms yet, contact your employers, your bank and any other applicable companies and institutions to find out why.
2. Keep a Copy of Your Previous Year’s Tax Return
Last year's tax return as well as any supporting information for the last three years may be needed to avoid a tax refund delay. Although there may be important changes this year, having information from previous years will make it easier to fill out this year’s taxes, especially if you’re completing them yourself.
3. Choose to E-file Your Taxes
According to the IRS, more than 90 percent of all returns are filed electronically. If you prepare your taxes yourself, consider using the free filing software from the IRS; the software’s ability to check for errors is an added benefit of e-filing versus paper tax returns. If you have your taxes prepared by a professional, ask that they e-file your taxes for you.
4. Get Your Refund Earlier by Choosing Direct Deposit
Reduce the chances of your refund check getting lost, stolen or declared undeliverable by choosing to have it deposited directly into your bank account. Be sure to check, and double check, your financial institution’s routing number and your account number to ensure you receive it without delay.