No one likes to wait an interminably long time to receive their income tax refund each year. But while most taxpayers enjoy a timely refund from the IRS or state tax agency, some may feel that theirs gets stuck in the mire.

You may not be able to change what goes on at the IRS, but can you change anything on your end to speed up the processing of a refund? Yes. Here are a few ways a CPA (certified public accountant) can help you do that.

1. Ensure an Accurate Return

The number one thing you can do to prevent your return from delays is to file an accurate return the first time. However, tax filing can be complicated. Anything from a math error to missing information may delay processing. A CPA is trained to get it all right the first time. 

2. Spot Red Flags 

You can't do anything about random audits of returns, but you can avoid filing a return that has a higher chance of manual auditing. Income tax returns with business income, with higher than average deductions, with large charity deductions, or losses from rentals or hobbies may all trigger red flags with the IRS. Make sure your document will pass such an audit with flying colors. 

3. Use the Right Tax Credits

Certain tax credits routinely call for additional processes or time delays to avoid fraud. Do you claim any of these credits? One of the most common, the Earned Income Tax Credit, for instance, nets low-income earners a bigger refund. However, if you get little out of claiming this tax credit, your CPA may advise against claiming it so as to avoid delays associated with it. 

4. Make Withholding Correct

You won't have to worry about a late tax refund if you don't get a significant refund to begin with. If regular delays plague your return, work to right-size your withholding so that you break even or have a very small balance due. A qualified tax preparer will analyze things like your primary withholding rate, sources of passive income, or investments to prevent you from overpaying the tax agency. 

5. Avoid Amendments

Finally, any time you must revise or correct a previously-filed tax return, it will likely be manually processed by the IRS. So try to avoid making amendments. Some amendments happen due to errors, but they can also be necessary if you failed to understand or take advantage of tax benefits when filing. Professional tax preparers minimize this risk. 

Where to Start

Whether you've experienced regular refund delays or you just want to avoid them in the future, start by consulting with a CPA tax service in your state today. They'll help you make tax season as painless as possible.