EFiling Tax Return

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I was reading the instructions for the Where’s My Refund tool on the website when I spotted this little gem:

You can generally get information about your refund 72 hours after IRS acknowledges receipt of your e-filed return, or three to four weeks after mailing a paper return.

Within 3 days, the IRS is ready to rock and roll on an efiled tax return. It takes twenty one to twenty eight days for them to start on your paper return. If you have a tax refund, you should be efiling because you can get your refund two to three weeks faster.

Another protip – go with the direct deposit option because then you won’t have to wait or worry about a big check going through the postal system.

{ 14 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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14 Responses to “EFiling Tax Return”

  1. Ryan says:

    I went the TurboTax (TT) direct deposit route. Then I got an email stating that TT made a processing error, so they have to mail my check instead. SOB! But they did refund the fees associated with direct deposit and TT.

  2. Christine says:

    If you file by Wednesday night and your return is accepted you will usually have your refund by the following Friday, via direct deposit.

  3. govenar says:

    I think this is pretty obvious. E-filing is more convenient anyway. There’s usually a fee for it though, unless you use one of the free sites.

  4. Big check? If you get a big check you have severely mis-managed your money.

    But I appreciate your allowing the government to sue it interest free. Thank you

    • Strebkr says:

      To each his own… Some people like refunds because it is a forced savings that they don’t have the discipline to do throughout the year. I have to over withhold because rental income and side business can go up and down. I just use my normal job to withhold extra. Its a ton easier then filing quarterly estimates. Yes, some years I do get a big refund, but thats not a bad thing in my book.

  5. zapeta says:

    E-file and direct deposit is the way to go. Much less time and effort and it saves all the paper that’d go in to the forms.

  6. skylog says:

    been taking the e-file and direct deposit route for years, although this year they seem to be faster. either that or they simply changed their policy.

    i know the past few years there was a time table of sorts where if you filed your return by a certain date, it would be deposited on a certain friday. i did not take the time to check on it this year, but my refund came sooner…on a tuesday. good show!

  7. Strebkr says:

    Direct deposit is certainly the way to go these days. Its fast, safe and secure. Anything to get the money faster.

  8. Shirley says:

    I have been e-filing state and federal for several years and can’t imagine going back to paper filing. Direct deposit refunds have usually taken an average of two weeks.

  9. MikeZ says:

    With interest rates as low as they are and how I usually get my withholding mostly correct, e-filing would cost me a significant percentage of my tax return.

  10. Atticus Thomas says:

    E-filing does not normally cost extra if you do it yourself or engage a tax pro who will not normally charge extra. What DOES cost extra is getting a Refund Anticipation Loan at a very high interest rate. Use Direct-deposit instead and wait a little longer and save the extra cost. E-filing without the Refund loan is much faster than paper filing.

    • MikeZ says:

      I guess it depends what normal is. Normal for me is buying TaxACT (or it used to be TaxCut but that got too expensive). Its helpful in that it also prepares my state returns and copies data from the federal form to the state form and gets most of its data from last years return. You can’t do this for free, and they don’t allow free efiling for more than one user.

    • Strebkr says:

      I don’t have a problem with the interest rates on RALs. People need to stop thinking of them as interest rates and rather a fee for something. Yes you are paying a fee to get your money faster. People get all bent out of shape when they hear of 300% interest rates. If you take a second to do the math you will understand why. For example you get a $100 refund. Lets say they charge you $30 for it. Now lets assume it would take 1 month to get your money normally.

      $30 of “interest” which is really just a fee over the $100 principal, annualized is 300%

      So yes, to the media and people who can’t do the math it sounds terrible. But to people who want their money a little faster they will pay it.

      Now I have never taken one and I will NEVER recommend one to anyone, but people are free to make their own choices.

  11. eric says:

    I can’t imagine doing a paper return unless a CPA does it for me. The horror of keeping that organized!

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