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How to get your tax refund faster: IRS tax filing date is here

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The biggest questions during tax season are "How fast will my refund come?" and "How can I check the status of my tax refund on line?"

If you are hoping to get your tax refund as soon as possible so you can use it to pay bills, start a home improvement project or go on a much-needed vacation, it's important to file online and use direct deposit to get your refund faster.

The IRS will start processing taxes on Jan. 31, 2014. To speed up the refund process, it is important to e-File or Free file online.

Popular sites like TurboTax.com and H&R Block make filing your return easier with step-by-step directions.

How much will you get back when you file your taxes? Use the free Turbo Tax refund calculator to estimate how much you will get before you start your tax return.

When will you get your refund? The IRS states that those who e-file online can expect their refunds in less than 21 days. Choosing direct deposit will speed things up even more.

Don't have a checking account? Turbo Tax offers the option of getting your tax refund on a free NetSpend Premier Visa Prepaid Card that will work the same as a direct deposit. Your refund will be deposited on the prepaid Visa card and you can use it to pay bills or withdraw cash at an ATM (fees may apply at ATMs).

For those who choose a paper check, expect it to take a month or more to appear in your mailbox.

How do you check the status of your refund online? The IRS has a "Where's My Refund" page set up to help you track your refund.

Taxpayers can use the "Where's My Refund" tool on IRS.gov 72 hours after submitting their return online. If you send your return by snail mail, you will have to wait at least a month to check the status of your refund.

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