As 2018 approaches many people are eagerly awaiting there W2’s so they can file their taxes. But exactly when does the IRS allow you to do so? As of November 27, 2017, we don’t know for sure. One reason is that Congress could still pass legislation in 2017 related to taxes, which may affect the dates.

waiting for tax refund.jpegThis is what we do know, however. Regardless of when the tax filing season begins, the fastest way to get your tax refunds is to file electronically and use direct deposit. The IRS states that over 90% of refunds are made within 21 days when filing this way. If you are curious to know the status of your return, you are also able to track it by going to Where’s My Refund? If filing electronically you can start tracking after 24 hours, or 4 weeks if you mail in your return. The IRS also has a mobile device app IRS2GO. To track your return using any of these you will need your Social Security number, filing status, and exact refund amount. The information only updates once daily, so there is no need to check it more frequently.

Another detail we are sure of is that anyone who files claiming an EITC, earned income tax credit, will not receive a refund before mid-February. The law which affects this went into effect last year for the first time. While you are allowed to file your taxes ahead of this time, the refunds won’t be issued until after mid-February.

How to Speed Up Your Tax Refund

So, with the potential for the IRS to push back filing dates or to hold refunds until mid-February, how is it people you know seem to get their refunds earlier? The answer is actually very simple. They are not receiving their tax refund from the IRS, but rather a tax advance loan offered by their professional tax preparer, based on what their refund will be. There is no way to speed up your refund, but this service forwards you part of your refund in the form of a loan, usually within 24-48 hours of the IRS accepting your return. If you qualify for a tax advance loan, your proceeds and any finance charges will be deducted from your total refund once the IRS releases it. Tax preparation fees may also be deducted unless you elect to pay those up front. Some people find these type of loans helpful, since the Holiday season sometimes stretches their budgets.

Additional information on tax filing dates, deadlines and refunds is available at

Taxes can be overwhelming. That's why we've created the Sunset Finance Guide to Tax Returns to provide more information.

December 1, 2017
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