Many taxpayers wait until the last minute to prepare their tax returns, such as a couple of weeks before the April 15 deadline. But it’s such a counterproductive practice that we’re still surprised many people still do so! Aside from getting taxes out of your way sooner – and most taxpayers consider taxes and the papers and procedures involved as a nuisance, to say the least – there are several benefits to filing your tax returns early.
Get Tax Assistance When You Need It
The tax preparers and advisors at Jackson Hewitt will understandably have their hands full as April 15th draws near – more and more taxpayers are scrambling to file their taxes on time with so little time left. But if you file your tax returns early, you can ask for their assistance faster than when you’re one of the horde.
Plus, you will likely file a more accurate tax return. The tax preparers and advisors have more time on their hands, after all, so your tax return will get more attention. You don’t have to be rushed into making decisions, too, so you can make second and third passes over your tax return.
Get Decreased Risk of Tax Identity Theft
In a tax identity theft, another person files a fraudulent tax return using your name and information so as to collect your tax refund, among other possible benefits. You will likely have real issues when your file your real tax return, and said issues will likely include your inability to collect your tax refund.
Your personal information, especially sensitive information like your Social Security number, can also be used for fraudulent purposes. You may just find yourself in hot water after being informed that you have unpaid credit card balances when you didn’t even availed of the credit line.
Often, the simplest yet most effective way is the most overlooked, and it applied to preventing tax identity theft. If you file your tax return early, an identity theft won’t be able to beat you since he or she can’t file a fraudulent tax return. You, after all, have already beaten him or her to the punch.
But what can you do if you suspect that you’re a victim of tax identity theft?
- Contact the IRS about the matter. You will likely be told to file Form 14039.
- Inform the Federal Trade Commission about it, too.
- Check your credit card billing and reports, look for signs of fraudulent activities, and inform the credit bureaus, financial institutions, and regulatory agencies so that a fraud alert can be placed on your credit reports.
Even with the partial shutdown of the federal government, you should anticipate filing your tax returns as scheduled, When it comes to taxes, it pays to be prompt.