(NEXSTAR) – It’s nearly that time of year again when we cross our fingers and hope to get money back after filing our taxes – and for those owed money, the IRS has some pointers when it comes to speedy refunds.

The majority of Americans are already using direct deposit to get their refunds, but, if you aren’t, the IRS calls it the “best and fastest way to get your tax refund.”

If you’re using tax software, just select direct deposit as the refund method and enter your bank account and routing numbers. If you’re unsure where to find that information, you can look at a paper check, which will have your routing number on the bottom left and account number on the bottom right. You can also check your online back account info or call the bank for help.

If you have a prepaid debit card you may be able to send the money directly to it, but you’ll need to check with the financial institution to make sure you have the correct routing and account info.

For those taxpayers who don’t have a bank account, the IRS encourages people to visit the FDIC websiteVeterans Benefits Banking Program or the National Credit Union Administration for help opening an online account.

To make the refund process even faster, file your taxes electronically and select direct deposit for the refund. The IRS says nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days when the entire process is done electronically.

Doing so may be vital this year as it’s still unclear how the explosion of COVID-19 cases driven by the omicron variant will affect the IRS workers tasked with processing returns.

The IRS also notes that filing a complete and accurate return will help streamline the process. Taxpayers are encouraged to check IRS.gov for the latest on questions around advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit for missing stimulus money and other issues.

Antsy and just can’t wait to see that larger number in your account? You can always check the progress of the refund using the IRS Where’s My Refund tool.

Tax season begins two weeks early

This year’s tax filing season will begin on Jan. 24, 17 days earlier than last year, the Internal Revenue Service announced Monday.

The IRS is warning that a resurgence of COVID-19 infections on top of less funding authorization from Congress than the Biden administration had requested could make this filing season particularly challenging.

“The pandemic continues to create challenges, but the IRS reminds people there are important steps they can take to help ensure their tax return and refund don’t face processing delays,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said.

Avoiding a paper tax return will be more important than ever this year to avert processing delays, Rettig said. He urged taxpayers to file their returns electronically and to get their refunds by direct deposit.

It is also important for taxpayers who received a COVID-19 relief Economic Impact Payment last year or who got an advance Child Tax Credit payment to make sure they report the correct amount on their tax returns to avoid processing delays, Rettig said.

The IRS will send letters to recipients of the impact payments and the advance Child Tax Credit payments and taxpayers can also check for the amounts they received on the website IRS.gov.

The deadline for tax returns to be filed is Monday, April 18 this year, three days later than the normal April 15 deadline for filing taxes. The later date is a result of an Emancipation Holiday in the District of Columbia. By law, in Washington, D.C., holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone the same way federal holidays do.

April 18 is the deadline for filing tax returns or requesting an extension. which gives taxpayers until Oct. 17 to file their returns for 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.