Today is the day that the IRS begins accepting tax returns, and with all that is going on with our government, it's recommended that you get started earlier than later with your tax filing.
Many taxpayers annually wait until the last minute to file their federal income tax returns. Despite this tendency, there are many reasons to file your taxes early. If you receive a refund, you may want to submit your return as quickly as possible. Additionally, there are benefits to filing early for those taxpayers who have a balance due.
Faster Tax Refunds
One of the most common reasons to file taxes early is to receive a faster tax refund. Filing your return electronically with direct deposit into your bank account is the fastest way to get your refund. Paper returns can take up to several weeks longer, so it is always better to e-file a return if you want to receive your refund quickly.
Extra Time to Pay What You Owe
This tax season is going to feel different for a lot of taxpayers. Since most of the post-pandemic credits have ended, many taxpayers may see lower refunds or may end up owing this year. If you owe a balance due to the IRS, you may still have a good reason to file your tax return as soon as possible. If you submit your return in the middle of January, you do not have to pay the taxes you owe until the filing deadline. Submitting your tax return early will give you time to arrange your payment. This extra time is particularly helpful to taxpayers who need to know exactly how much they will owe the IRS.
Time to Gather Financial Information for Upcoming Purchases or Life Changes
If you are expecting a big life change, such as buying a home or returning to college, preparing your tax return early can help you obtain essential information. College students use the information from Form 1040 to apply for financial aid, while prospective homebuyers often have to show their completed tax returns as proof of their household income. Getting your tax return done early—whether you owe money or expect a refund—gives you a head start on the paperwork you will need for these processes.
Key Filing Season Dates
There are several important dates taxpayers should keep in mind for this year's filing season:
January 24: IRS begins 2022 tax season. Individual 2022 tax returns begin being accepted, and processing begins.
April 18: Due date to file 2022 tax return or request extension and pay the tax owed due (or establish a payment plan)
October 16: Due date to file for those requesting an extension on their 2022 tax returns