How to Get Your Tax Refund Faster

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The last thing you want to do when you're expecting a refund is to wait any longer than necessary for it.

To get your income tax refund the fastest way possible, e-file your return and choose a direct deposit to your bank account.

What refund options does TaxAct offer?

You can have the IRS deposit your refund into up to three different bank accounts.

A split refund is a great idea if you want to put some of your money into savings. It's always easier to put money directly into savings than it is to find a surplus in your checking account and transfer it later. That's the IRS intent, at least, in letting taxpayers have their refunds deposited into different accounts.

You can also use split refunds if you file jointly with your spouse and you each have separate bank accounts.

Tip: Double-check your bank routing and account numbers. The IRS will confirm the account number is valid before they deposit your refund. If the number you enter is not valid, you may receive a paper check in the mail, instead of an electronic deposit. The paper check will take longer for you to receive than a direct deposit.

Worse yet, if the account number you enter is valid but belongs to someone else, that person could receive your tax refund.

Instead of having your refund deposited directly to your bank account, you can choose one of these options:

  • Free e-file with direct deposit to an exisiting account or to an American Express Serve Prepaid Debit Account for fast and easy access to your refund.
  • Use all or part of your refund to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds in increments of $50.
  • Have the IRS send you a paper check, which you generally receive three to four weeks after the IRS accepts your return.

Can I apply my refund to next year?

If you pay estimated taxes, or if you think you may owe income taxes when you file next year's return, consider having part or all of your income tax refund applied to next year's return.

Reminder: TaxAct offers the option to pay TaxAct product fees by having them deducted from your refund.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

January 1 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (New Year's Day) Details

January 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during December, report them to your employer Details

January 15 — Individuals
Make a payment of your estimated tax for 2018 if you did not pay your income tax for the year through withholding (or did not pay in enough tax that way). Use Form 1040-ES Details

January 15 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in December 2018

January 15 — Farmers & fishermen
Pay your estimated tax for 2018 using Form 1040-ES Details

January 21 — Everyone
Federal Holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) Details

January 31 — All Employers
Give your employees their copies of Form W2 for 2018. If an employee agreed to receive Form W2 electronically, have it posted on a website and notify the employee of the posting.

January 31 — Individuals who must make estimated tax payments
If you did not pay your last installment of estimated tax by January 15, you may choose (but are not required) to file your income tax return (Form 1040) for 2017 by January 31. Filing your return and paying any tax due by January 31 prevents any penalty for late payment of the last installment. If you cannot file and pay your tax by January 31, file and pay your tax by April 15.

January 31 — Payers of gambling winnings
If you either paid reportable gambling winnings or withheld income tax from gambling winnings, give the winners their copies of Form W2G.

January 31 — Social Security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the fourth quarter of 2018. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until 02-10 to file the return.

January 31 — Certain small employers
File Form 944 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2018. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is $2,500 or more for 2018 but less than $2,500 for the fourth quarter, deposit any undeposited tax or pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full, you have until February 10 to file the return.

January 31 — Farm employers
File Form 943 to report social security and Medicare taxes and withheld income tax for 2018. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full, you have until February 10 to file the return.

January 31 — Federal unemployment tax
File Form 940 for 2018. If your undeposited tax is $500 or less, you can either pay it with your return or deposit it. If it is more than $500, you must deposit it. However, if you deposited the tax for the year timely, properly, and in full, you have until February 10 to file the return.

January 31 — All businesses
Give annual information statements to recipients of certain payments you made during 2018 Details

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