If you dread tax filing season, you’re not alone. According to WalletHub, 30 percent of those surveyed would rather fold 100 fitted sheets or talk to their kids about sex than sit down and do their taxes. Many Americans evidently don’t find the task of filing their taxes to be something enjoyable, meaning they are more likely to procrastinate and put it off, even waiting until the very last minutes.
But when it comes to going through this process, there are a lot of benefits to avoid procrastination and get taxes filed as early as possible. If you are among the delayers, here are some good reasons to get taxes done and out of the way early in the season:
- Get your money back sooner: If you’re part of the lucky citizens who will receive a tax refund for the year, wouldn’t you like to get that money sooner? If you file early, chances are that your return will be received and processed before the large influx of taxpayers file in April. The IRS states that they will issue most refunds in less than 21 calendar days.
- Lessen the likelihood of errors: Filing your taxes early and with ample time to prepare could also help you catch any mistakes in your return before it's too late. By giving yourself plenty of time to review your form to find and fix any errors. Year after year, the most common error on taxes is bad math, according to Bankrate even if a computer did it for you. Transposed number or missed calculations could reduce your refund or even delay your return. Giving yourself enough time to review and verify your return could have a great effect.
- Reduce chances of identity theft: Probably the most compelling reason to file your taxes early is to lessen the possibility of identity theft. False tax return scams are one of the most increasingly menacing forms of identity theft out there.
Identity thieves often file fraudulent income-tax returns using another person's Social Security Number, or can use a child’s SSN to claim dependents for a refund. The IRS reports that while thieves usually steal information from a source outside the tax system, the IRS is often the first agency to inform a victim that their identity has been used. Fortunately, the IRS reported that the number of tax payers reporting stolen identities on tax returns fell by more than 50 percent in 2016. While this is a positive trend, no one is out of the woods yet. Don’t let a thief beat you to your tax return, file correctly and file early to claim it before anyone else can.
Filing your taxes early is just one method you can use to help protect your identity. If you're still concerned about your vulnerability to identity theft, enroll in Identity Guard. With identity theft protection and three-bureau credit monitoring, you can be alerted to certain activity that may indicate fraud in your credit files.
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