Among taxpayers, about 70 percent get money back every year as a tax refund. If you are one of them, financial adviser Ray Martin dropped by The Saturday Early Show to talk about how to get that refund into your pocket as quickly as possible.
First of all, says Martin, no one enjoys filing taxes. Half of all tax filers are individuals who do it themselves. The average refund is $2,600, so getting their refunds is a priority for a lot of people right now.
There are three ways you can prepare, file and get your tax refund:
Do it on paper, using the forms, or use the computer to print the forms. By mailing them to the IRS and waiting for the mail to get your refund check by paper check. This is a familiar process for many people and so that is why they prefer it. Also, it's a good way for people who are intimidated by computers. However, if you file on paper, mail it and wait for a refund, you won't get it until March or April. It will take more than six weeks.
File electronically, using a computer, and wait for your refund check by paper check. About 20 million people filed their tax returns from their home computers last year. It has become increasingly popular, and then you wait for a paper check. If you file electronically right now but wait for the paper refund check, you get that by the end of February, about three weeks. It can be more accurate using computers to prepare and file your return. Then again, getting that refund check in the mail: How secure is that? People know what those refund checks look like in the envelope and they could get lost or stolen.
File electronically and get your refund by direct deposit into your bank account. This is Martin's favorite way to prepare and file a tax return and get a refund check. He explains, "If you electronically file your tax return today and opted to have your refund directly deposited in your bank account, you will have as little as ten days. It's more accurate, and you get an electronic confirmation that says they received your tax return as proof of filing.
"It's a lot more secure that way than handing over a paper to somebody. It's encrypted and secure and you will get your receive fund in ten days."