5 Benefits of Filing Your Taxes Early
This year’s tax deadline is April 15, 2019, but the IRS will begin processing returns as early as January 28th. While it’s easy to procrastinate doing your taxes, filing your taxes early is the financially savvy thing to do–and it can spare you a major headache. If you usually wait until the last minute to submit your tax return, here are 5 reasons to get on top of your game this year.
1. Get Your Refund Sooner
If you expect to get a tax refund this year and want to receive it as quickly as possible, file electronically and choose to receive the money via direct deposit. Taxpayers who e-file typically get their refund within 21 days of it being processed; the sooner you submit, the sooner you’ll get your money back!
2. Time to Get Help Filing
As you prepare your return, you may find that your tax situation is more complicated than you expected. Starting the process of filing your taxes early lets you track down help if you need it. Tax professionals get very busy towards the deadline; last year, almost half of taxpayers (that’s 77 million people!) waited until the last month of tax season to file. If you also wait until the deadline, there may not be professionals with enough availability to give your return their full attention.
3. Extra Time to Pay What You Owe
You have until the April 15th filing deadline to pay taxes, even if you submit your return earlier than that. If you need extra time to arrange for a big payment, it’s to your advantage to file a few months in advance. You’ll find out exactly what balance you owe, giving yourself some time to save up and/or make a plan to pay before the deadline.
4. Eliminate the Need to File An Extension
When preparing your taxes, you want plenty of time to sort through your finances and ensure you don’t miss any money-saving deductions. Many people who procrastinate simply don’t have enough time for this part of the process and end up filing for an extension. Extensions give you six more months to file a return, but they do not give you extra time to pay the tax you owe. In fact, if you don’t pay your total balance due by the April 15th deadline, you’ll be charged interest and penalties! Skip out on the hassle of an extension by starting the process early.
5. Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Did you know that if someone has your Social Security number, they can file a fraudulent tax return in your name to receive your refund? Here’s the good news: this scam can’t happen if your tax return is already filed. Since tax identity theft happens early on in the season, filing your taxes early and submitting your return as soon as possible reduces your chance of getting scammed.