Tax filing season officially begins on Monday, Jan. 28. While the U.S. government remains shut down, the IRS will be bringing back 36,000 employees, without pay, to process returns and issue refunds. With the new rules and uncertainty around the shutdown, it’s more important than ever to get your tax records organized early. If any of the following situations pertain to you, consider filing your taxes as soon as possible.
- 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 steal their refund. 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 wish to avoid a dependent dispute. One of the most common reasons a tax return is rejected is when you claim a dependent already 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 2019 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. One of the more complex items to tackle for 2018 is the new 20 percent qualified business income deduction. If you receive a K-1 or have any business or rental income, there may be additional calculations required to complete your taxes.
- 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 Jan. 28, they won’t begin processing paper returns until mid-February. Tax returns that claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit will have their refunds further delayed until some time after Feb. 15.
Remember, the sooner your tax return is in the queue, the sooner you will receive your refund. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call.