The IRS will start accepting tax returns on January 28 this year–one day earlier than last year–according to a recent announcement. They will be recalling a significant portion of its workforce, currently furloughed as part of the government shutdown, to work.
But can it help you to file so early? YES! There are several reasons why filing early can help you, but here’s our top two:
You can get your refund sooner
This may be nearly too obvious to say, but the sooner you file, the sooner you get your money back from the feds. If you file on January 28, you could very easily get your return near the beginning of February.
And it’s not just about time–the longer the IRS holds on to your money, you actually lose money you could be earning with it by investing, or even putting it in a high-interest savings account.
Each year, the government makes millions accruing interest on YOUR money.
You can keep yourself safe from stolen identity tax fraud
This is a big one. Hackers and scammers are out there doing everything they can to get your personal information and file your taxes for you–and then pocket your hard-earned tax return.
Turbo Tax explains:
Stealing tax refunds doesn’t require personal contact with victims. The thief obtains your name and Social Security number, then uses it to file an early tax return in your name, claiming a refund.
Often the first time you learn that your identity has been stolen for tax fraud is when you e-file your own tax return online and it is rejected because someone has already filed a return using your Social Security number. Or if you mail your return, get a notice from the IRS telling you another return has been filed under your Social Security number.
According to the Department of Justice, over $30 billion in tax refunds were stolen with fraudulent filings in 2013. And every year, these thieves steal more. And one easy thing you can do to make sure you’re not a victim is to file early.