Everyone loves a tax refund, but for some, the refund comes too late. Businesses have until the end of January to send out Forms W-2, which means most people do not file their taxes until at least February. Many people would prefer to get their refund in time for Christmas, to help ease the burden of Christmas shopping. It is possible to file taxes early for Christmas shopping, if you know how to do it and where to go.
Go to a tax preparer in your area that offers refund anticipation loans. The bigger companies tend to offer this service.
Bring your most recent paycheck stub into the tax preparer's office. He can use this to calculate the approximate amount of the refund you will receive. The preparer will ask you questions about other income, major deductions you know you will have, and how many dependents you have. You must have the Social Security card, not a copy, for each dependent you are claiming.
Read the fine print. These refund anticipation loans are just that, loans. They come at a high interest rate, and you will receive a check for the difference between your expected refund and the interest charged on your loan.
Return to the same tax preparer's office when you have all your Forms W-2 and other tax information. You must go back to the same office so your tax return can be completed and sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When the IRS receives your return, it will send the refund to your tax preparer rather than to you to pay off the loan.
Some of these loans come at a high cost. Be certain you understand the terms before you sign for the loan.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Making the Most of Your Tax Refund," Accessed Nov. 11, 2019.
- Minnesota Attorney General. "Tax Preparer Fees and 'Tax Time' Financial Products," Accessed Nov. 8, 2019.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Tax Refund Tips: Understanding Refund Advance Loans and Checks," Accessed Nov. 8, 2019.
- Internal Revenue Service. "What to Expect for Refunds in 2019," Accessed Nov. 8, 2019.
- Some of these loans come at a high cost. Be certain you understand the terms before you sign for the loan.
R.J. Bowman has a Bachelor's degree in accounting with a minor in English from Pensacola Christian College. After college, she taught English to seventh graders until becoming a mom. At that time, she found freelance writing to be a great way to keep her writing skills sharp.