It’s hard to find a reason to look forward to tax season. Filing your taxes can come with disappointing news, and sometimes it can leave you owing more money. But if you’re due to get a refund on your taxes, you could wind up with more money than you thought.
Unfortunately, tax refunds don’t always arrive quickly. It can take months to get the money you’re owed back from the IRS. Yet there is a way to get your tax refund in your bank account much faster – a tax refund advance.
If you know about tax refund advances, you can get a jump start on your tax refund. You could have hundreds or thousands of dollars in cash right now, if you’re ready to file your taxes.
What is a Tax Refund Advance?
A tax refund advance is an easy way to get the money you’re expecting as a refund before the IRS actually gives it to you.
According to NerdWallet, tax refund advances are similar to short-term loans¹. When you choose a tax refund advance, the amount you’d like to “take” before your actual refund arrives is given to you by a tax prep company. Then, when your refund is available, the amount you took out as an advance is deducted.
You can take out a tax refund advance in amounts ranging from $200 to $3,500². Most companies will give you that cash in just 24 hours. And many tax prep companies don’t charge any interest – meaning you’ll pay 0 percent on your advance.
Tax refund advances are typically only given to people who have their taxes prepared by a company that’s offering a refund advance (or loan), NerdWallet reports³. This means you may have to pay a fee to get your taxes prepared. You may also qualify for an advance only if your expected refund meets the tax preparer’s minimum requirements.
How to Get a Tax Refund Advance
Do you want to get the tax refund you’re owed right now? To get an advance, you just need to work with the right tax prep company. Plenty of tax prep companies across America are offering tax refund advances during tax season. If you use their services to file your taxes, you may be eligible for an advance.
Here are just a few of the tax prep companies that offer tax refund advances.
TurboTax is one of the most popular ways people prepare and file their taxes. And this year, you could take advantage of a refund advance if you use TurboTax. You can get a loan ranging from $250 to $2,000 if you qualify, and you can get your refund money within two days of filing your taxes⁴.
Requirements: You must have a minimum expected tax refund of $500 to qualify. Loan amounts will vary depending on your expected refund and other personal information. You must file your taxes with TurboTax, be approved for the Turbo Visa Debit Card, and must live in one of the accepted states.
Jackson Hewitt offers two types of tax refund advances: the Early Refund Advance Loan and the No Fee Refund Loan. Both of these advances have a 0 percent interest rate, and customers can take an advance of $200, $300, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,250, or $3,200⁵.
Requirements: You must have a minimum expected tax refund of $300 to quality. You must have your taxes prepared at a Jackson Hewitt office, and you’ll need pay stubs, W-2s, or other income verification to get your advance.
H&R Block offers tax refund advances through the end of February. If you have your taxes prepared at an H&R Block location, you can get a same-day advance of $250, $500, $750, $1,250, or $3,000⁶. You’ll get your advance on a prepaid Mastercard, and you can easily transfer funds right to your bank account.
Requirements: You must have a minimum expected tax refund of $500 to qualify. You must have your taxes prepared at a participating H&R Block office and meeting certain credit requirements.
Get an Advance on Your Refund This Year
You don’t have to wait weeks – or even months – to get your refund from the IRS. Thanks to tax prep companies, it’s now possible to get some or all of your refund far earlier. In fact, you could get it the same day you file your taxes!
But you’ll need to act quickly if you want a tax refund advance. Tax prep companies only offer these advances during the earliest months of tax season, and they typically end well before the filing deadline. Many tax refund advances are only available until the funds run out. And that means those who file first get first access.
If you wait, or file your taxes later on, you could miss out on the chance to get a tax refund advance. But if you act now, you could do a lot with your refund money well before your actual refund comes in.