FIVE PART SERIES: NAVIGATING TAX FILING DELAYS, MAXIMIZING TAX REFUNDS AND MANAGING YOUR DEBT IN 2014
Part 2: Three Ways To Speed Up Your Tax Refund
by John G. Merna
For those of you that file your taxes early, you may have noticed that the date to begin filing your taxes seems to slip later and later. In 2014, the anticipated delay is being blamed on the government shutdown in October 2013. The IRS says much of the preparation required for the 2014 tax season was delayed by the shutdown.
Unfortunately, it is proven a poor bet to rely on the federal government to insure timely provision of services. Once again, it is pretty certain that tax refunds will be delayed two weeks or longer in 2014. This delay could be even longer if another government shutdown occurs in January and February 2014.
The “trickle effect” of the government’s decision to permit a shutdown for almost three weeks will be felt by many. In an attempt to reduce the stress and hardship for many of having their refund delayed I have three suggestions to speed getting your tax refund money in your hands.
Suggestion 1: Underpay Your Taxes For The Rest Of The Year.
You can have your tax refund money now by changing the exemptions on your W-4 now. This will put the money in your check immediately. How much do you change? That depends on your refund size and the amount you normally pay in taxes. There are several online calculators that can help you figure this out. A word or two of caution: You need to remember to change it back by December 31. You need to make sure you don’t underpay so much that you owe unless that is your intention. Finally, to still get the thrill of a large refund, you should put aside the money.
Suggestion 2: Electronically File With An Online Service Or Affordable Preparation Company
This seems like a well know piece of advice – electronically file. It is. The real advise here is do it but this year shop the services you have been using. Are you overpaying? Are they gouging you on fees for e-filing?
Keep an eye on our “Tax Refund Watch” blogs. We will give your the “go” date for filing your refund electronically. Currently, the earliest filing date is a moving target if you read last week’s blog (see the link below). We will keep you informed via blogs about the finalized date.
Suggestion 3: Direct Deposit Your Refund But Be Careful
Direct deposit is going to speed up you receiving the refund by weeks. Everyone knows this. The twist is that you need to be careful. Most of the people reading this blog are considering filing bankruptcy and are delinquent on bills. If you have been sued, even if you never went to court, or have been garnished, your bank accounts are vulnerable to being frozen by a garnishment. Around tax refund time many collection attorneys put garnishments on bank accounts in hopes of catching these refunds. The safest way around this threat – open a new account with a bank you have never banked with before right before filing your taxes and have the money deposited into that account. Some online banks are safer than brick and mortar banks. A new account in a previously unused bank is the safest option.
Once you get that tax refund get to your attorney quickly and file your case. Tax season is a very active collection season because creditors know you may have money.
I hope this information will get your hard-earned tax refund money into your hands quicker. If you found this blog informative I would appreciate if you would Google+1 this page and maybe one other page on our website your found helpful.
For those of you waiting for your tax refund to file you might find our “Bankruptcy Layaway” program helpful through the holidays to get affordable representation to handle the collection calls. There is nothing worst than being harassed during the holidays.
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