Why let Uncle Sam hold on to your tax refund any longer than necessary? Avoiding a few common pitfalls while preparing your return can mean the difference between waiting about two weeks for your refund instead of months.The average dollar amount of this year's refund is slightly higher than in 2007, according to CCH, a tax information provider. Refunds for tax returns filed as of Feb. 22, 2008 averaged $2,700 -- 2% higher than last year's average $2,650 refund. Overall, the government is benefiting from an interest-free loan of more than $106 billion so far this year, according to CCH. That's all the more reason to get your refund as quickly as possibly. Here are a few tips from the pros on avoiding delays:
Michelle Maton, a financial planner with Chicago-based Aequus Wealth Management Resources, says clients often express concern about direct deposit. "I don't trust it," is a common refrain, she says. However, she recalls working with taxpayers who have either lost checks or inadvertently thrown them away -- and then had to obtain duplicates from the IRS.