File Your Taxes Early to Avoid Falling Victim to Identity Theft
If you’re like most, you may put off filing your individual tax return until close to the April 15th deadline. But there’s another date you should keep in mind: January 19th. That’s the date the IRS began accepting 2015 returns, and filing as close to that date as possible could protect you from the hassles and complications of tax-related identity theft.
HOW FILING EARLY HELPS PROTECT YOU
In this increasingly common scam, thieves use victims’ personal information to file fraudulent tax returns electronically and claim bogus refunds. When the real taxpayers file, they’re notified that they’re attempting to file duplicate returns.
Tax identity theft can cause major headaches to straighten out and significantly delay legitimate refunds. But if you file first, it will be the thief who’s filing the duplicate return, not you.
ANOTHER KEY DATE TO REMEMBER
Of course you need to have all of your key tax forms in order to file. February 1st is the deadline for employers to issue 2015 W-2s to employees and, generally, for businesses to issue 1099s to recipients of any 2015 interest, dividend or reportable miscellaneous income payments.
AN ADDED BONUS OF FILING EARLY
Let us know if you have questions or concerns about tax identity theft or would like to file your 2015 return now. An added bonus of filing early is enjoying your refund sooner. If you typically owe, remember that April 15th is still the due date for all your taxes due even if you decide to file an extension. Like we always say, an extension applies only to filing the return but NOT to paying the tax – your tax is due on or before April 15th every year!