(Undated) -- NerdWallet says there are several ways to get your federal income tax refund within days. In 2016, the average return was 28-hundred dollars. If you make less than 64 grand, you can e-file for free through one of the many companies that partner with the IRS. Or if it's a simple return, you can do it using software from the big tax preparation companies that will guide you through the process. More complex returns will likely require the expertise of a paid tax-preparation service.