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Tax Refund Advance - What You Need to Know

Tax Refund Advance – What You Need to Know

Last year, the IRS revealed that among the 19 million tax filings they received last year, they issued about eight million tax refunds. That’s close to half the population that filed their taxes. The year is no different, as filing to get a refund is crucial. Did you know the average taxpayer can expect a refund of around $3,207 this year? That’s a significant chunk of change!

While filing your taxes unlocks that potential refund, waiting for the IRS to process your return can take weeks, even months. What if you could access that money sooner to cover bills and unexpected expenses or jump start a financial goal?

This guide explores your options for getting your tax return money faster. We’ll delve into tax refund advances and how they can help you bridge the gap between filing and receiving your refund.

Tax Refund Advance Explained

A tax refund advance, tax return advance, tax refund loan, or refund loan is a short-term loan that bridges the gap between filing your tax return and receiving your refund from the IRS.

Here’s how it works: When you file your taxes, you may be offered a refund loan for a portion of your anticipated refund amount. Your tax preparation service typically issues this advance, although some other lenders may offer it.

Tax Refund Advance

How They Work

The general process for obtaining an advance loan involves these steps:

1. File your Tax Return

You’ll need to file your tax return with a tax preparer or lender that offers advances.

2. Estimate your Refund

Your tax preparer or lender will estimate your tax refund based on your tax situation.

3. Apply for the Advance

If interested, you can apply for the advance during the tax filing.

4. Eligibility and Approval

Your eligibility and the approval amount will depend on your tax situation and the lender’s criteria.

5. Receive your Advance

You’ll typically receive the advance funds electronically within the same day or the next business day if approved.

6. Repay the Advance

The amount of your advance, plus any program fees, will be deducted from your final tax refund when it arrives from the IRS.

Typical Timeline for Receiving an Advance vs. Traditional Refund

While waiting for your IRS refund can take weeks or even months, a refund advance offers much faster access to your money. Here’s a table for comparison:


Typical Timeline

Traditional Refund (Direct Deposit) Approximately three weeks
Traditional Refund (Paper Check) Approximately six weeks
Tax Refund Advance (if approved) Same day or the next business day

Locate-Atcs-bannerA Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Tax Refund Faster with ATC Income Tax:

At ATC Income Tax, we understand that waiting for your tax refund can feel like an eternity, especially when you need that money to cover bills or unexpected expenses. That’s why we offer the EasyMoney Loan, a tax refund loan program that allows you to access a portion of your anticipated refund quickly and easily. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how it works:

Step 1: Schedule an Appointment or File Online

The first step is to get connected with ATC Income Tax. You can either visit your nearest ATC location in Decatur, Milwaukee, or Atlanta or choose the convenience of filing your return online through our secure platform. Regardless of your preferred method, our friendly and knowledgeable staff guides you through the process.

Step 2: Discuss Your Refund Advance Needs

During your appointment or online tax filing process, our tax professional will discuss your tax situation and explore your options. Let them know if you want a tax refund in advance. They’ll explain the details of our EasyMoney Loan program, including eligibility criteria, advance amounts, and the repayment process.

Transparency is key at ATC. Our tax professional will clearly explain any fees associated with the EasyMoney Loan program before you apply. This could include interest charges for advances exceeding a certain amount or fees for optional features within the program.

Step 3: We Prepare Your Return and Estimate Your Refund

Our tax professionals are experts in navigating the tax code and ensuring you receive the maximum refund you deserve. They will prepare your return, taking advantage of all applicable credits and deductions to maximize your refund. Once your return is complete, they will provide an estimated refund based on your tax situation.

Here at ATC, we prioritize accuracy. Our rigorous review process ensures your return is error-free before submitting it to the IRS.

Step 4: Eligibility and Approval for Advance

Based on your estimated tax refund and the program’s criteria, you’ll be pre-qualified for the EasyMoney Loan program. Approval typically happens quickly, and you’ll be notified of the maximum advance amount you can qualify for. This could be a fixed percentage of your estimated refund or fall within a specific range (e.g., 25%, 50%, or 75%).

Step 5: Receive Your Advance (if approved)

Once approved, you’ll receive your EasyMoney Loan advance funds electronically, typically within the same or the next business day. This allows you to access a portion of your refund immediately, helping you bridge the gap until the IRS processes your full refund.

Here at ATC, we offer two distinct advance options within the EasyMoney Loan program:

  • 0% APR Refund Loan: This option allows you to borrow a larger portion of your estimated refund (between $1250 and $6000) at a 36.0% APR. This is a good option if you need a significant amount of money upfront and are comfortable with the associated interest charges.
  • $500 Bonus with 0% APR: This option offers a smaller advance amount (between $100 and $500) with no interest charges. This is a great option if you only need a smaller amount to cover immediate needs and want to avoid any additional fees.

Step 6: Repayment of Advance

The amount of your EasyMoney Loan advance, plus any program fees, will be automatically deducted from your final tax refund when it arrives from the IRS. This streamlined process ensures a smooth repayment without any additional steps.

Pre-qualify BannerIs a Tax Refund Advance Right for You?

A refund loan can be a tempting option, especially if you’re facing bills or unexpected expenses and waiting for your IRS refund feels agonizing. But before you jump in, weighing the pros and cons and determining if it’s the right financial decision for you is crucial.

Pros of Tax Refund Advances

1. Fast Access to Cash

This is the biggest advantage. You can get a portion of your refund within a day or two, which can be a lifesaver if you have immediate financial needs.

2. Convenience

The application process for a refund loan is typically quick and straightforward, often integrated with your tax filing process. No need for separate loan applications or approvals.

3. Can Help Avoid Debt

If you’re facing late fees or high-interest debt due to delayed income, a refund loan can help bridge the gap and save money on those charges.

4. Improved Cash Flow

The advance can temporarily boost your cash flow, allowing you to cover essential expenses or make planned purchases while you wait for the full refund.

Cons of Tax Refund Advances

1. It’s a Loan, Not Free Money

You’ll be responsible for repaying the advanced amount plus any fees associated with the program. This reduces the overall amount you receive from your IRS refund.

2. Fees Can Be Significant

While some programs offer 0% interest advances for smaller amounts, others may have interest rates or fees that can add up quickly. Carefully consider the total cost of the advance compared to the benefit of receiving the money sooner.

3. Eligibility Requirements

Not everyone qualifies for a tax refund advance. Your eligibility may depend on your tax situation, income level, or creditworthiness.

4. Risk of Over borrowing

It’s easy to get caught up in the immediate benefit and borrow more than you can comfortably repay when your full refund arrives. Be realistic about your needs and only borrow what you require.

5. Potential Impact on Future Refunds

If you don’t repay the advance in full by the tax filing deadline, it could delay your next year’s refund.

Making an Informed Decision

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if a tax refund loan is right for you:

1. Urgency of Your Needs

How urgent is your need for the money? Can you wait for the traditional IRS refund timeline, or is immediate access critical?

2. Amount Needed

How much money do you truly need to cover your expenses? Don’t borrow more than necessary.

3. Alternative Options

Explore alternatives like dipping into emergency savings (if available), negotiating payment extensions with creditors, or looking for ways to reduce expenses.

4. Understanding the Costs

Fully understand the fees and interest charges associated with the advanced program. Calculate the total cost of borrowing compared to the benefit of faster access. 

5. Impact on Your Budget

How will repaying the advance affect your future budget? Ensure you can comfortably manage your finances after accounting for the repayment.

6. Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re unsure whether a tax refund advance is the right choice, discuss your situation with a tax professional at ATC Income Tax. They can guide you through the benefits and pitfalls, analyze your financial situation, and help you explore alternative solutions if needed. Remember, at ATC, our priority is your financial well-being.

Next Steps with ATC Income Tax

At ATC Income Tax, we’re here to streamline the process and get your tax refund back to you faster. We offer two convenient ways to get started, ensuring a solution that fits your needs and preferences.

1. Schedule an Appointment for Personalized Service

Our welcoming tax professionals at our Decatur, Milwaukee, and Atlanta locations are ready to assist those who prefer face-to-face interaction. They’ll provide personalized service and expert guidance throughout the tax filing process.

During your in-person consultation, you can discuss your tax situation, ask questions, and explore options like our EasyMoney Loan program to access a portion of your refund sooner. To schedule an appointment at your nearest ATC Income Tax location, visit our website or call us directly.

We’re happy to connect you with a tax professional who can answer your queries and guide you through filing.

2. File Online Through Our Secure Platform

If you prefer the convenience of filing from home, you can use our secure online platform, which allows you to prepare and submit your tax return at your own pace. The user-friendly platform guides you through the filing process, ensuring you don’t miss any deductions or credits that could maximize your refund.

Even if you choose the online route, our tax professionals are still available to answer any questions that may arise throughout the process. Our platform is designed for speed and security, allowing you to file your return quickly and with peace of mind.

Whichever method you choose, ATC Income Tax is here to help you maximize your refund and get your money back faster

Final Note

Don’t let waiting for your tax refund slow you down. At ATC Income Tax, we understand the importance of getting your money back quickly. With our expert tax preparation, EasyMoney Loan program, and convenient filing options, we can help you navigate the tax filing process seamlessly and get your tax refund advance faster.


1. What is a Tax Refund Advance?

It is a short-term loan that allows you to quickly access a portion of your anticipated tax refund amount. You’ll repay the advance, plus any fees when your full refund arrives from the IRS.

2. How Much Does a Tax Refund Advance Cost?

The cost of a tax refund advance can vary depending on the program and the amount you borrow. Some programs offer 0% interest for smaller advances, while others may have interest rates or fees. It’s important to understand the total cost of the advance before applying.

3. Do I Qualify for a Tax Refund Advance?

Eligibility for a tax refund advance depends on your tax situation, income level, and the program’s criteria. Our tax professionals at ATC Income Tax can help you determine your eligibility.

4. Is a Tax Refund Advance Right for Me?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Consider your urgency for the money, the amount you need, and alternative options before deciding. Our tax professionals can guide you through the benefits and pitfalls to help you make an informed decision.

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