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How to Get TurboTax Refunds Faster

Wondering how long it will take to get your TurboTax refund check? It depends on how you file and what type of refund you opt for. You’ll also want to file as early—the IRS opened filing on February 12—as you can to get your refund processed faster. Read on for Groupon Coupons’ guide on each TurboTax option and how long they take.

File by Mail—Slow

This is by far the slowest option for receiving your tax refund. Due to mail delays that result in IRS backlogs, it can take up to a few months for your tax return to be processed. We recommend e-filing to speed up the process significantly.

E-File with Paper Check—Faster

If you e-file with TurboTax and opt to receive your refund as a paper check, you could have your refund within 28–42 days (That’s anywhere from a month to a month and a half). Just be sure your mailing address is correct or you may end up with big delays and a bigger headache.

E-File with Direct Deposit—Fastest 

If you e-file with TurboTax and opt for direct deposit, you can have your refund within 21 days of IRS acceptance. This is by far the easiest and most secure way to get your refund. 


Other Option: TurboTax Refund Advance

TurboTax Refund Advance is a free program that gives you access to up to $4,000 of your federal tax refund amount within a day of IRS acceptance—and sometimes as fast as three hours. To get your early refund, you’ll get a Turbo Visa Debit Card, which is subject to approval and fees. Once the IRS processes your tax return, which usually happens within 21 days, the remainder of your federal tax refund will be loaded onto the card. 

Note: This year’s TurboTax Refund Advance program ended on February 15, 2021, but read on for a primer on how to take advantage of it next year. 

How to Apply for TurboTax Refund Advance

  • When filing your tax return with TurboTax, select Refund Advance as your refund option.
  • Apply for a TurboTax Visa Debit Card. 
  • If approved, you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to set up your account to start spending immediately.

Eligibility Requirements

There are quite a few eligibility requirements for this program, including being 18 or older, filing your tax returns with TurboTax, having a minimum expected federal tax return of $500, and not being a resident of North Carolina or Illinois. Check out the full list here.

Tax Refund Amounts

The exact amount you’ll receive will depend on your expected refund. Here’s a handy chart to help you figure it out:

Expected Federal Refund Amount   Maximum Refund Advance Amount
 $500–$999  $250
 $1,000–$1,499  $500
$1,500–$1,999   $750
 $2,000–$2,999  $1,000
 $3,000–$3,999  $1,500
 $4,000–$4,999  $2,000
 $5,000–$5,999  $2,500
 $6,000–$6,999  $3,000
 $7,000–$7,999  $3,500
 $8000 & above  $4,000


Using the TurboTax Visa Debit Card

Usually within a day of IRS acceptance, you’ll receive an email with your virtual TurboTax Visa Debit Card to start shopping online immediately. You’ll receive the physical TurboTax Visa Debit Card within 5–10 business days, at which point you can withdraw cash from ATMs and use your card wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. 

But Watch Out For Those Fees

Here’s where you’ll need to be careful. If you’re using the card for an extended period of time and not depositing at least $1,000 each month, you’ll incur a $4.95 monthly fee. You’ll also be charged $2.50 per transaction when using out-of-network ATMs. You can avoid these fees by having your paycheck direct-deposited to the card and by only using in-network ATMs. Take a look at the fee structure here before deciding whether TurboTax Visa Debit Card is right for you.

Is TurboTax Refund Advance Worth It?

It depends. If you’re strapped for cash and want immediate access to your refund, then TurboTax Refund Advance could come in handy for the short term. But if you have the ability to wait for your refund, you’ll save more in the long run by avoiding all those pesky fees. 

When Does TurboTax Refund Advance Start Again?

Check back here in December 2021 for more info on TurboTax Refund Advance.


Looking for other ways to save on tax filing? Check out our collection of TurboTax coupons for the latest deals and offers.

 

 

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