We know that the IRS is severely short-staffed this year. Although we may think it's not that big of a deal, it can be a worry for many who rely on a tax return to catch up on bills.

Budget planning concept
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There Will Be Delays in Tax Refunds This Year.

This may throw a major wrench in your plans if you have big payments coming up or major debt that you need to pay. How do you make sure that you're not waiting on a tax refund as most of the U.S. will be?

Accountant working with US tax forms
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You Have to Be Strategic This Year

Since we know that tax season is going to be a cluster and a half you need to be proactive. According to LifeHacker.com you and I don't have time to dilly dally and we need to make some decisions so we can get our tax return faster than anyone else this year.

Tax Form and Currency
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Don't Waste Time

You may think that you have time on your hands but the truth is you don't. Be one of the first to file your taxes. File your taxes before everyone else.

Ask for a Direct Deposit

We all know checks take much longer than a direct deposit. Get comfortable with the whole direct deposit action if you aren't already.

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Don't Mail in Your Tax Forms

Get familiar with the concept of e-filing. You may be used to mailing in your tax forms however e-filing can get you a refund within 21 days. If you want to mail them in you're looking at 40 days minimum.

You Don't Have Time for Mistakes

Triple check it all. Even a minor mistake can throw off you getting your tax return in a timely manner. If the IRS needs to cross-check what you send in, expect a major delay.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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