How to Get Your Tax Refund Faster Than a Paper Check

If there’s anything that people want sooner rather than later, it’s their tax refund. Many taxpayers who’ve been filing tax returns for years have grown accustomed to the lengthy wait between the day a paper return is sent and the day the refund check arrives in the mail.

As technology develops and the IRS and banks expand their online capabilities, waiting a long period of time to get your tax refund is a thing of the past. Many people have pressing financial needs that make a timely tax refund valuable. Get all the information you need about how to get a faster tax refund so you can have access to the funds you need when you need them.

How long does it take to get a tax refund check by mail?

Tax refunds can be notoriously slow when you file by paper and choose to receive it in the form of a check by mail. Once you’ve filed your tax return, if you choose to file by paper, the IRS will issue your check within six to eight weeks from the time they receive your return. If you decide to file your return electronically, however, then the refund check will often be sent within three weeks.A

How long will it take to receive your tax refund check by mail?  
Paper Tax Return Issued in 6-8 weeks
Electronic Tax Return Issued within 3 weeks

How to get a tax refund faster

To receive your tax refund faster1 than a paper check, choose to file your tax return electronically rather than via paper. However, you can still receive a substantially faster1 tax refund when you choose direct deposit instead of a mailed check.

Eight out of 10 American taxpayers choose direct deposit for their tax refunds, according to the IRS, and the electronic transfer system used by the IRS is considered more secure than receiving a paper refund check in the mail, since there is a risk of having your check lost or stolen by mail.B When tax returns are filed electronically, nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days.

Direct deposit saves time by depositing your tax refund in your account without requiring you to wait for the post office to deliver your check or for your bank to process the check. All you have to do to get your tax refund via direct deposit is to select direct deposit on your tax return and supply your bank account and bank routing numbers. The IRS even gives you the option to divide and send the direct deposit of your tax refund to as many as three different accounts, allowing you to put a portion of it away for savings and make the rest of it available for immediate use.C

Choose the ACE Flare™ Account by MetaBank®

Signing up for a Flare Account2 can decrease the time it takes to receive your tax refund. When you choose direct deposit with this account, you’ll receive your tax refund faster than a paper check!1

Apply today to set up a Flare Account to start receiving your direct deposit. You can also visit an ACE Cash Express location for more help applying, setting up direct deposit for your account, and more.

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1. Faster access claim is based on comparison of a disbursement via direct deposit vs. disbursement via a mailed paper check. For up-to-date information from the IRS, visit

2. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR OPENING A NEW DEPOSIT ACCOUNT: To help the federal government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, the USA PATRIOT Act requires us to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an Account. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU: When you open an Account, we will ask for your name, street address, date of birth, and government ID number. We may also ask to see a copy of your driver’s license or other documents at any time. All Accounts are opened subject to our ability to verify your identity by requiring acceptable types of identification. We may validate the information you provide to us to ensure we have a reasonable belief of your identity. If we are not able to verify your identity to our satisfaction, we will not open your Account or we may close the Account if it was previously funded. Your Account is subject to fraud prevention restrictions at any time, with or without notice.

The ACE Flare™ Account is established by MetaBank®, National Association, Member FDIC. Netspend is a service provider to MetaBank, N.A. Certain products and services may be licensed under U.S. Patent Nos. 6,000,608 and 6,189,787.

© Netspend Corporation. All rights reserved worldwide. Netspend is the federally registered U.S. service mark of Netspend Corporation. All other trademarks and service marks belong to their owners.

© 2020 Populus Financial Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The Flare Account® is a demand deposit account established by Pathward, National Association, Member FDIC, and the Flare Account Debit Card is issued by Pathward, N.A., pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Netspend is a service provider to Pathward, N.A. Certain products and services may be licensed under U.S. Patent Nos. 6,000,608 and 6,189,787.