The saying, “the early bird gets the worm,” is especially true when it comes to filing your taxes. If you need a little extra motivation to tackle your taxes early this year, here are five reasons you should beat the rush and do them sooner than later.
1 Extra cash, extra early!
Who doesn’t love getting a return sooner than later? This is the most fun reason to file early! You’ll get your tax refund sooner when you file before the April deadline. With the extra money, you’ll be able to think about what you and your family need most, like affordable auto or life insurance.
2. Take big life steps for the next year
Many big financial steps, like applying for a mortgage or reapplying for financial aid (if you’re still in school), require a completed tax return to help assess your financial stability and needs. Filing your taxes early means you’ll have that necessary financial paperwork sooner and you can get to work on your life goals.
3. Avoid having to file for an extension
Filing for an extension can be tricky – and if you do it incorrectly, you risk filing your taxes late. Avoid the extension altogether by filing your taxes early. By streamlining your filing process earlier in the year, you’ll make the most of your deductions and write-offs as opposed to scrambling to find ways to save at the very last second.
4. Decrease chances of identity theft
Don’t let someone illegally cash in on your refund. Identity theft is one of the biggest financial concerns people face today. (The IRS estimates it paid out over $5.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft benefits in 2013 alone.) According to the Journal of Accountancy, filing early can help prevent potential thieves filing on your behalf because it decreases the time thieves have to make a fraudulent claim.
5. Have more time to pay taxes if you owe them
If you file your taxes early and believe you might owe the IRS money, filing early is the better option. You won’t have to pay off your balance until mid-April, when the filing deadline rolls around, and you’ll have more time to arrange your payment plan.
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