Taxpayers can expect their refunds to arrive two weeks after they file their federal returns, as long as they file the right way and without errors.
That is according to CPA Practice Advisor, a publication for tax pros, which publishes a refund timeline based on averages for IRS refunds over the last 20 years. The refunds could take longer during peak filing times in April, while refunds that include the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit can't be issued until mid-February by the outlet.
The IRS tells taxpayers to wait 21 days after they file for their refund, which is their biggest windfall of the year.
Isaac M. O'Bannon, managing editor at CPA Practice Advisor, told Yahoo Finance that the best way to get a refund is to file as soon as you have all the documents you need and file electronically. Technology has sped up tax refunds for taxpayers and the IRS, especially when people e-file. How do I make sure I get my tax refund as soon as possible?
If you rely on your refund, file early and electronically, and use direct deposit to file for refunds to prevent delays. Paper returns take longer to process, even though the IRS has implemented some changes to speed up the process.
You can get your refund through a bank account, prepaid debit card, or mobile app if you have a routing and account number.
If you want to file online or with a tax professional, you have all of your personal information and tax documents ready to fill out your return. If there is an error or missing information, the refund may be delayed, delaying your refund.
You should have the personal information for your spouse and dependents, such as birth dates and Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers. If the IRS has issued one for you this year, you need to have an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number.
You will need to have records of your income including W- 2 income statements and 1099 s for unemployment compensation, pension, annuity or retirement plan distributions.
If you buy an electric vehicle EV with solar panels installed, start a side-hustle, or cash out of your bitcoin position? Adam Brewer, a tax lawyer and founder of AB Tax Law APC, told Yahoo Finance. All of these factors will affect your tax return and refund. Have receipts and documentation for these items. Other items that you need to include are Form 1095 if you have coverage through the health insurance marketplace, as well as any tuition, mortgage interest, and real estate tax receipts. If you plan to itemize using Schedule A, you need to have documentation of your charitable donations.
Have last year s return is also a good guide to help you through this year s. Check out H&R Block's tax checklist to prepare for this year.
If you can't afford a tax professional, but need help filing your taxes, visit the 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.
Ronda is a finance senior reporter for Yahoo Finance and an attorney with experience in law, insurance, education, and government.