Many people wait until the last minute to file their income tax returns, whether taking more time to find and organize tax documents or just simple procrastination. Don’t be among them!

As long as your taxes are completed by the April 18, 2016 filing deadline (April 15 falls on a holiday this year), you will not incur any penalties for filing your taxes late. However, waiting until this date does not free you from last-minute stress. Here are a few benefits that come with filing sooner rather than later.

 

Fraud or ID Theft

According to the IRS, the 2014 tax year had an increase of over 700,000 attempted fraudulent returns. If you file your tax return early in the season, you’re less likely to become a victim of a fraudster trying to collect a refund in your name. Criminals tend to file fraudulent returns early to try and get to the IRS before you. They won’t be able to file in your name if you’ve already completed your return, so file early to better protect yourself.

 

Know What You Owe

Filing early will inform you of your tax liability and how high your tax bill will be ahead of time. You’ll know exactly how much you owe in both state and federal taxes, giving you more time to save money or reorganize your finances before your balance is due.

 

Faster Refund

If you are looking to receive a refund, filing taxes early can mean money in your hands sooner, allowing you to bump up savings, plan a vacation or pay down debt. Either way, early filing will put you in a position to better manage your finances and plan ahead. 

 

Reduce Stress

With proper planning, you can take the stress out of tax time. To make for a smooth and simple tax experience, have your tax documents organized and ready to take to your preparer. Download our tax preparation checklist to see what paperwork is needed for each person in your household. You’ll need items such as your W-2, home-related expenses and forms, and charitable donation receipts. Having the right documentation will save you time and money while also making sure that you get every possible deduction or credit for which you qualify.

 

More Time to Find Assistance

If you need to visit with your tax preparer prior to completing your income tax return, don’t wait until the last minute! As April 18th approaches, more taxpayers will be filing taxes and offices may become busier. Visit your tax preparer as soon as possible to allow them more time to answer your questions, provide advice on your particular situation and review your past returns. An early visit will also give you more time if needed to correct an error or make any other alterations to your tax return. 

 

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