Is it nearly tax season already? It feels like Tax Day was only yesterday.
Well, we’ve feverishly checked our calendars—oh, about seven times now—and it’s about that time of year again. So that means you need to start thinking about filing your taxes again.
We may love filing taxes, playing with numbers, and trying to find the best tax deductions and tax credits out there, but we’re kind of unique that way. Most taxpayers would rather do an interpretive dance in front of all their friends and family than file their taxes.
However, this attitude comes with its own problems. When you don’t like filing your taxes, you’re more likely to put them off until the last minute—or worse, until after the last minute. That can saddle you with penalties and other problems we promise you’d prefer avoiding.
On the other hand, filing taxes early brings some wonderful benefits. Whether you’re a procrastinator, a Type B organizer, or you just hate doing your taxes, we’re here to sway you to try filing your taxes early this year.
We have half a mind to turn this list into four benefits of filing tax returns early, because there’s another benefit you get from being punctual with your taxes. The peace of mind that comes with getting your taxes filed and out of the way is incredible.
But we digress.
Why would filing your taxes early prevent you from becoming a victim of tax fraud? That’s a great question, and fortunately, we’ve got a great answer.
Sadly, one of the most common tax scams out there comes during tax season, when fraudsters try to get a hold of your Social Security Number, file a fraudulent tax return on your behalf, and then hope the IRS doesn’t flag the return. If the scammer’s tax return flies under the IRS’s radar—which is distinctly possible, since most audits are triggered by computers looking for inconsistencies, errors, or anything suspicious—the scammer collects your tax refund.
Then, you’re left dealing with the IRS, because the system will reject your eventual, legitimate tax return. You’ll have to fill out forms, add documentation to prove your identity was stolen, and just generally hate life for potentially a few months. No good.
When you file your taxes early, should a scammer get their hands on your personal information, they’ll have no way to get your refund and their return will be rejected.
If you have a regular income and you’ve withheld your taxes like a pro, you’re probably not going to find yourself dealing with a surprising tax bill when it’s time to file your taxes. But there are many other reasons you might find yourself saddled with a tax bill on April 15.
Perhaps you won a large cash prize, or maybe you were left a significant total in a will or through another estate action. There are dozens of reasons you may end up with a tax bill, and when you file last minute, you may not immediately have the funds available to pay the total. Sadly, filing for an extension doesn’t help much, either; it only extends the time you have to file your taxes, not to pay them.
Once the clock ticks over to April 16, you’ll be sitting with a tax bill that has already started accruing penalties and fees. That’s one of the major ways that tax debt starts to spiral out of control, but it can be avoided—or curbed—by filing much earlier.
If you file early and discover you have a tax bill, you’re giving yourself up to two and a half months to pay the total. Talk about tax relief.
Have you ever been at the grocery store on the morning of Super Bowl Sunday? Or at the mall on Christmas Eve? So busy. The same holds for tax season. Because taxes are a deeply personal and individual process for every taxpayer, it’s very easy to forget that just as you may be waiting until the last minute to file your taxes, well—so is everybody else.
The real problem comes when you opt to use a tax preparer or tax preparation service. At Edge Financial, we have a sizable team and proprietary technology that makes us flexible and nimble. But just like any tax preparation service, we want to take time and care of your tax return to make sure we can get you the best possible refund.
And we’re a lot more prepared than other tax preparers! If you wait until the last minute, you’re likely to get caught in a bottleneck. File early and up your chances of locking down the tax preparer you want.
Filing early provides just as many benefits as filing late creates problems. Hopefully, we’ve convinced you about the merits of filing your taxes early. Even if we have, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Give us a call, and let’s get started.