Income tax refunds arrive faster when you file the return electronically and choose the direct deposit option. Accurate information and calculations on the tax return speed up the processing time, which also results in a faster refund.
Mistakes on the return, such as incorrect information, missing data, information entered on the wrong line or math errors, delay the processing of the return. This means a longer wait for the refund to arrive. Paper returns mailed to the Internal Revenue Service take up to six weeks of processing time, according to About.com. Electronic filing usually results in a refund in about three weeks. Filers who choose direct deposit receive funds directly to a bank account, which cuts out the wait time of receiving a mailed paper check.
The "Where's My Refund?" option on the IRS website offers a way to track your refund online. The IRS updates the information about once every 24 hours, so checking more than once per day doesn't give you different results. The tool requires you to enter your Social Security Number, filing status and the exact amount of your refund. Filers also have the option of calling (800) 829-1954 to reach the IRS Refund Hotline and provide the same information about the return. These tracking options do'nt speed up the refund, but they do give you an idea of when to expect the money.