Why you should do your taxes early, and how to get started

You could stop identity thieves in their tracks

Adding up finances.
Adding up finances.

It is easy to put off doing your taxes until the last minute. No one likes to deal with the IRS, and sometimes, procrastination happens as a result.

Even so, there are some great reasons to file your taxes early. Even if you do not have all the documentation you need, you can still fire up your preferred tax-filing program, enter the information you do have on-hand, and see where you stand.

Here are some smart reasons to start working on your tax return today.

You will get your money back more quickly.

The most compelling reason to file your taxes early is also one of the most selfish: You will be among the first in line for your refund, and you can use the money any way you like.

Filing early can jump-start the refund process, especially if you use e-file to submit your return. If you file your return electronically, you could have your refund in as little as seven to 10 days.

It’s a chance to lower your taxable income.

Tax filing season does not end until mid-April, and that’s good news if you want to lower your taxable income. The calendar year may be over, but you still have a chance to reduce what you owe, if you start the filing process early.