Within a week this year, the IRS received nearly 35 million individual tax returns! Americans are clearly serious about their taxes this year.
Data released by the agency earlier shows that by Feb 19 this year, 35 million individual tax returns had been filed. Compare this to last year’s one week data — the IRS received only 15.7 million returns then, even before the coronavirus pandemic hit and led to an extension of the filing window.
This year’s data beats last year’s TWO-week data too. By Feb 7, 2020, the IRS received approximately 29 million individual tax returns — still 6 million shy of this year’s one-week total.
So why are Americans rushing to get their taxes filed this year?
We can only guess, but the late start to filing may have something to do about it. Although the start of filing has been delayed, the IRS has not, as yet, pushed the filing deadline beyond April 15. This obviously reduces the time people now have to get their paperwork sorted and file their taxes.
If you are one of those 35 million, well done on filing early! You can be stress-free for the rest of tax season now. But if you still haven’t filed, here are some benefits of filing early to consider:
1. It’s the fastest way to get a refund
If you’re owed a refund, there’s really no reason to wait! Get your money back as soon as possible by filing now. There is no benefit to waiting to file later.
2. Get your stimulus check!
If you were eligible for a stimulus check but didn’t receive it, filing your taxes is how you’ll get it. If you received the incorrect amount, you can get the difference as well by filing.
If in 2020 you either had a child or your income was slashed, you might also be able to qualify for the stimulus even if you didn’t previously. You may also be able to claim the earned income tax credit or the child tax credit.
Filing a return is the best way to make sure the IRS has your current information on hand, and this will also help you with any future stimulus payments.
3. It might protect you from fraud
If someone else fraudulently files your taxes before you do, you will have problems when you finally file. Then, it’ll be YOUR responsibility to prove to the IRS that your return was not filed by you earlier. Dealing with the IRS can be a nightmare, and ideally you really want to avoid being in one of these situations. This will also further delay your refund.
If there’s no reason to wait, just file. Tax fraud is on the rise these days, and you should proactively protect yourself against it!
4. Tax returns can be amended if needed
If you’re worried that there will be changes to the tax code impacting 2020 tax returns, you might be right. However, there’s still no reason to delay filing your returns. No one knows when a tax code change will be implemented, or even if it really will be.
If you work with a tax preparer, they’re probably more occupied than ever this year because of the shorter-than-normal tax season. Reach out as soon as possible — they can always file an amended tax return later if needed!
Have you filed your taxes?
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