The 2020 tax season is upon us, and the question with most people is ‘when are taxes due?’ April 15 is the deadline to file returns. We still have several days before the deadline, but filing returns early can save a slew of headaches. Internal Revenue Service started accepting returns on January 27. Let’s face it – most people like procrastinating paying taxes until the last minute. However, procrastination can hurt you in the long run, just like with any other task. Here are 5 compelling reasons why you should file returns as soon as possible.
1. Get your tax refund sooner
Who doesn’t love a tax refund? If you are expecting a tax refund, you should file returns early so you can receive your tax refund early. It is as simple as that. IRS takes about 21 days to issue refunds after filing. Sometimes your refund may require extra review, in which case it may take a little longer. So, the sooner you file your returns, the better.
2. Enough time to pay what you owe
In case you end up owing on your tax return, you would want to know how much as soon as possible so that you have time to plan on how to pay. You don’t want to wait until April when you have only a few days left to pay your bill. If you file in late January or early February, you have almost two months to figure out how to pay what you owe. You can even set up a payment plan with the help of the IRS if you are not able to pay by April 15. Either way, filing returns early gives you more options and time to pay your tax bill.
3. Prevent identity theft
In case your Social Security number gets into the wrong hands, that’s all they need to file returns ‘for’ you. Of course, a criminal will not file so they can pay taxes for you but rather fraudulently claim your tax refund. This is a common scam at the beginning of a tax season. Make sure your Social Security number does not fall into the wrong hands and file your taxes as early as possible.
4. Avoid last-minute stress and possible penalties
Filing returns can be complex and stressful, and you don’t want to wait until April to file. Less time means less flexibility. Also, rushing to file the last minute can lead to mistakes, which can be costly.
If you send your returns via mail, you can avoid congestion and a crowded post office by filing early.
5. Access to a tax preparer and information
Getting a tax preparer in January and February is easy because they are not as busy as in late March and April. In fact, if you have not set an appointment with a tax professional by the third week of March, you may have to file an extension. Accessing a tax preparer early means they have more time to assess your situation more carefully.