Some taxpayers have already received their tax refunds. Here's how to make sure yours isn't delayed

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Tax season 2022 may have started just one week ago, but some people say they've already received their refunds from the IRS.

Some social media users on Reddit and Twitter say they've already gotten direct deposit payments at banks including Chime, Wells Fargo and more. Many of these people say they filed on or near Jan. 24, the first day returns were accepted by the IRS, and had fairly simple taxes, although some do have dependents and claimed the half of the child tax credit that was not paid in advance last year.

That includes, Marlon B., a project manager in Ohio, who filed his return on Jan. 25 and woke up to a refund direct deposited into his bank account Tuesday morning. Marlon, who asked his last name not be disclosed for privacy concerns, says he and his wife will put their refund, which totals a few thousand dollars, toward a down payment and moving expenses on their first home, which they plan to buy sometime this summer.

"We had to delay this process last year because of Covid, and also because our refund was delayed almost seven months last year," he says. "Having a refund in eight days this year is giving us peace of mind knowing we can plan our home purchase as scheduled."

How to get your refund faster

The speedy returns are good news, considering the IRS has warned that a backlog of returns from last year and a staffing shortage may lead to delays processing returns this year. In general, the agency aims to send refunds within 21 days.

The simpler your return, the faster the IRS should theoretically be able to process it. The more credits you claim, the longer it might take to receive a refund. Those who claim the earned income tax credit, for example, can expect theirs no earlier than Feb. 15, and likely later than that.

Additionally, the IRS is anticipating that some taxpayers will make mistakes when claiming missing stimulus and the other half of their child tax credit. When mistakes are made, agents have to manually review returns, which takes more time.

Other reasons your refund might be delayed include mailing a paper return or not being set up for direct deposit. Of course, having more complicated taxes can't be helped.

The best way to ensure you get your refund faster is to file as early as you can online and request direct deposit. And make sure that all of the information you include is correct and complete. The IRS processes returns on a first-come, first-served basis.

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