"If you just stick with the normal process and wait for your refund from the IRS, you're likely to get it pretty quickly," Coombes said.
Those who had the longest wait for their checks: parents of children under 18. That is because the IRS did not start processing refunds for those who claimed the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit until Feb. 27.
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While the tax law changes are prompting individuals to approach their taxes differently, there is one area where they are falling short.
Just 17 percent of those surveyed said they plan to revisit their tax withholdings after this year's return.
"Getting a surprise tax bill is never fun," Coombes said. "One of our key takeaways from this is to be sure to adjust your withholdings so you don't get a tax bill next year."
That also applies if you're getting a refund this year. That sum could instead be coming to you over the course of the year.
A $3,000 refund, for example, could add up to $250 more per month in your bank account, according to NerdWallet's calculations, after you adjust your withholdings.
Many individuals overlook those changes to the W-4 form, which Coombes called the "control tower to your finances."
"It's fun to get a refund," Coombes said. "A lot of people like that windfall.
"But it's really money you could have been using to set aside for savings, to pay down debt, all last year."
NerdWallet's online survey was conducted by The Harris Poll between Feb. 27 and March 1. It included 2,031 individuals ages 18 and up.