Your refund options vary state to state, but you probably have more options then you think when it comes to getting your tax money, including a new one for Missouri and Illinois taxpayers.
First, there's the good old-fashioned paper check. Carrie Bareis, who co-owns Liberty Tax Service says it takes the longest to receive, at about eight to 15 days. However, if you don't have a checking account it can be tough to cash.
The majority of taxpayers - about 70-percent - use direct deposit and have their money wired directly into their account.
New this year, Missouri and Illinois are offering debit cards for the state refunds. Bareis says the Missouri Visa debit card is safer than cash. If it's lost, stolen, or damaged, your funds are protected by a protection policy.
You can also apply for a loan against your refund. It's is the fastest way to get money, but will actually cost you money. You're going to have to pay interest rates and possibly fees to set up and close the account.
"I think it's important that people not confuse a loan against their refund with getting their taxes calculated and receiving a refund from the IRS," said Bareis.
Whatever you choose, Bareis says it's important to know what you're getting into. Watch out for tax preparers who are not registered with the IRS.
There's one more way to get your refund, and in the long run you would actually end up with more money. You can purchase a bond refund from the federal government.
Bareis said, "You can spend up to five thousand dollars on US savings bonds which might be a nice way to do some Christmas shopping or special gifting for this year with some of your refunds."
The bonds come in $50 increments.
They are penalty free after five years. Although you can take the money out after just a year, you just loose some of the interest earned. They can draw interest for as long as 30 years.
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