Start your engines! Tax filing season officially begins on Monday, Jan. 29. Not many people file that early, but for some taxpayers it makes sense to do so. Here are common reasons to consider trying to be at the head of the line.
- You’re worried about tax identity fraud. One of the most popular scams by identity thieves is to impersonate someone, file a return on their behalf and snatch their refund check. But once you’ve filed, the window of opportunity for identity thieves closes. If you’ve had problems with your identity being stolen in the past or your information has been compromised, consider filing early.
- You want to avoid a dependent dispute. One of the most common reasons a return is rejected is when you claim a dependent who has already been claimed by someone else. This often happens when there is shared custody of a child.
- Someone needs a completed return from you. If you anticipate buying a house early in 2018 or making any other transaction that will need a tax return as proof of income, you may want to file early so you can provide current tax information. This is especially important if you are self-employed and don’t have pay stubs to use as proof of income.
- You have a complex problem to work out. If you have a complex tax problem to work out, do yourself a favor and get your tax return appointment scheduled early. Otherwise it’s hard to get the detailed attention you need in the rush just ahead of the April 17 deadline.
- You need the refund ASAP. Of course, everyone would like their refund as soon as possible. One thing to remember is that while the IRS starts accepting returns on the 29th, they won’t begin processing paper returns until mid-February. Returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit will see processing of their returns further delayed until some time after Feb. 15. But otherwise, the sooner your tax return is in the queue, the sooner you should receive your refund.