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Over the past few years, there have been many tax law changes. While you may not need to be aware of every one of them to file your taxes successfully, the IRS is spending a little extra to ensure their systems are prepared to handle the changes properly. What this really means is that they won’t begin accepting tax returns until February 12th, 16 days later than usual.
But that doesn’t mean you should wait to file your taxes any longer than usual. Once tax returns are accepted, the standard wait for a return is within 21 days. This is assuming you sent electronically and opted to receive your return via direct deposit. So if you want to not only get your refund faster, as well as receive a third stimulus check if Congress approves it, you’ll want to file your taxes early.
Many of you might still be owed stimulus money from the first and second round of checks. Filing your taxes early is a good way to ensure you get the funds sooner rather than later. Filing your taxes early this year also gives you the opportunity to make a claim missing funds through the Recovery Rebate Credit available on your 2020 tax return forms. Of course, if you have gotten your stimulus checks, you don’t need to worry about that. It would likely still help a great amount to receive your tax refund early.
Cybercriminals and fraudsters have a better chance of being successful with attempts to file something using your name if you wait. In turn, filing your taxes early reduces that risk.
While you probably see other articles and prompts from tax advisors to file early, you still want to wait until you receive all pf the documents you need to file properly. You don’t want to leave something out because you might need to file an amended tax return later, which can be frustrating, time-consuming, and costly.
For example, many people who often engage in some contract work will receive a 1099 form, but they don’t always arrive in the mail as quickly as a W-2. In some cases, they might arrive as late as March. Make sure you don’t file without it if you are expecting one.
Currently, the IRS still has this year’s deadline for filing your taxes as April 15. However that could change depending on factors like unemployment, stimulus payments, and the IRS’s ability to process documents on time.