The IRS deadline for filing 2022 tax returns is April 18, but there are multiple advantages to filing electronically as soon as possible. Early filing can protect you from tax-related identity theft, where a scammer files a fake tax return using your Social Security number (SSN). The IRS only accepts one electronically filed return per SSN, so if someone else files a bogus return before you, you will have to mail a paper return, and likely experience processing delays as a result.
The many other advantages of filing early and electronically include:
- Faster Refund: Processing of returns by the IRS slows down in April, as the number of returns submitted increases. For early filers who provide direct deposit information, the IRS issues most refunds within 21 days, or by as soon as February 28 for those who claim the Additional Child Tax Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit.
- No need to request a Filing Extension: If you start early, then even if a problem comes up like a missing wage statement or other tax document, you will have plenty of time to resolve the issue before the filing deadline.
- More Time To Request An Installment Plan: Discovering at the last minute that you owe more tax than you can pay may lead to major tax problems, including large IRS penalties. Filing early may give you time to properly request an installment payment arrangement with the IRS, helping to minimize penalties and interest charges.
- Easier to Get Help: If you need assistance preparing and/or filing your tax return, help will be far easier to find in February or early March than during the final 30 days before the filing deadline.
A tax professional can help you efficiently complete your tax return, and file it electronically for greater security and faster processing. By acting now, you can have your refund in your bank account before many taxpayers have even begun the filing process.