The IRS expects to receive more than 128.7 million returns by April 15 this tax season. But did you know that nearly one-third of taxpayers will wait until the last minute to file? If you owe the IRS, it may seem like a no-brainer to put off submitting your tax return until the last possible moment. We get it. Nobody wants to be separated from their hard-earned money. There are, however, three reasons why you should file your tax return early.
1. Protect Yourself From Tax Fraud
During the 2023 tax season, the IRS flagged more than 1 million tax returns for potential identity theft. The earlier you submit your tax return, the less chance there is that someone else will be able to file using your Social Security number(SSN). That’s because any additional attempts to file after the initial return is accepted should be flagged and rejected by the IRS.
Although you may owe the IRS, scammers could still use your SSN to file a phony return and receive a refund by mail. If you wait until the last minute to file and someone else beats you to the punch, you’ll need to file a fraud report with the IRS and endure several months of irritation trying to get everything cleared up. Avoid the headache and file your tax return as early as possible.
2. Extra Time to Explore Payment Options
Even if you owe the IRS, filing early makes sense. That’s because you’ll still have until the filing deadline (April 15) to pay your tax bill in full. If you find that you owe a bit more than expected, you can borrow from a relative or take out a personal loan. You could also pick up some gig work to make up the difference before the due date. If neither of these are options, you’ll still have plenty of time to explore other ways to pay off your tax balance. This may include a short-term or long-term payment plan, an Offer in Compromise, or some other form of tax relief.
Don’t make the mistake of not filing because you can’t pay. You’ll be hit with a 5% failure-to-file penalty, as well as a .5% failure-to-pay penalty. Interest fees will also start to accrue after the filing deadline passes. This can quickly increase your tax balance and make it harder to pay off.
3. Easier to Get an Appointment With a Tax Professional
Another benefit of filing early is the ability to get an appointment with a tax professional. As the tax deadline draws closer, all those procrastinators will be scrambling to schedule time to get their taxes done. If you wait too long, you may have a difficult time finding anyone with an opening. Also, fees may be higher if they need to provide expedited services. Avoid the hassle and request an appointment now.
If you need help filing your return or want to explore your payment options, call 855-476-6920 to schedule a free consultation with Tax Defense Network today!