Personal Finance

Get your tax return out the door faster — and get your refund sooner

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If you want to get your refund as quickly as possible, you’d better hustle that tax return out the door.

The IRS has received 28.6 million tax returns for the 2019 tax year as of Feb. 7, and it anticipates receiving more than 150 million returns in total.

Filers are already getting money back. The agency has paid 10.8 million refunds as of Feb. 7, down nearly 5% from last year.

On average, taxpayers are getting back $1,952 from the federal government, up $3 from the year-ago period.

There are plenty of advantages to filing early. For starters, you beat the would-be scammers who want to file a phony return using your data.

“Making sure you’ve obtained and organized all of your tax documents is going to make the tax prep process go much more smoothly,” said Andrew Phillips, director at the Tax Institute at H&R Block.

“It also ensures you’re not missing key tax benefits or income that can lead to an IRS letter,” he said.

Everything begins with getting your paperwork together to ensure an accurate and speedy filing.

Identifying income

The Internal Revenue Services offices in Washington, D.C.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Use last year’s income tax return as a guideline. Go over your income sources and deductions claimed to make sure you leave no break unclaimed.

“Last year’s tax return is a good checklist for everything that you’ll need this year,” said Cristina Gugilielmetti, a certified financial planner and owner of Future Perfect Planning in Brooklyn, New York.

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