To understand this process, let me share an example. If the IRS started processing the 2016 tax returns on January 23, 2017, you have until April 18, 2017 to file your 2016 return. If you have an automatic extension to file it, you can file on October 18, 2017. As recommended, it is a best practice to file it early.
There are many reasons to file your IRS tax return early. First, you will get your tax refund early if the government owed you a sum of money for that matter. Every day that you fail to file early meant losing a day to get the refund since there are millions of people processing to have it. The average amount is $2,857. It is just equivalent to giving the government a chance to enjoy a loan with free interest.
Second, it is still a good idea to file your IRS tax return early even if the government doesn’t owe you a tax refund. The reason is to prevent tax return fraud. It is a perennial problem that fraudsters commit identity theft and use the names of other people to file fraudulent returns and claim their refunds. Based on the records of the U.S. Department of Justice, one person has been prosecuted as an identity thief. He claimed a fraudulent tax refund in the amount of $20 million for over eight years. In that sense, you should file ahead any fraudsters and make sure that you will not fall victim of these unscrupulous individuals.
It is a common problem of the Americans to procrastinate the filing of IRS tax return. As per the records, more than 21.5 million taxpayers waited for the last week to file their returns last year. There are also 13 million people who requested for extensions of time to file IRS tax return.
It is a best practice to file IRS tax return early. If you seek help from another person to prepare your tax papers, make sure to secure an appointment ahead of time. For those who prepare their returns without the help of others, it is a good idea to obtain whatever tax preparation software you need. In any way possible, begin gathering all the documentation you need to complete your return.