When can you file your taxes? Just as soon as you get your W2 forms (which employers are required to send out by January 31st), and any additional forms (i.e. a 1099 which covers freelancing and investments) which are usually available mid-February. This means that for a good majority of people, they should have roughly 2 months to get their taxes filed. Seems like a good amount of time, right? So why should you bother getting them done early?
1. Gives you time to think about money
The main reason you want to do your taxes way before the April 15th deadline is that the sooner they’re done the sooner you know how much money you have to plan around. If you’re getting money back, great! You might be able to put a little extra toward paying off debt, or maybe put it toward a vacation.
If you do owe a bit this year, you have time to plan for that too. No matter how early you file you have until April 15th to pay any fee owed – and being able to plan for it is much better than a surprise bill popping up and ruining your day
2. Relieves stress
How many of us have procrastinated on a project so long that when the due date came around we were either wildly stressed out, unprepared, or straight up missed the deadline? By filing your taxes quickly, when it’s top of mind, you can check one more thing off of your to-do list.
3. Helps the college-bound
Have you been thinking of going back to school? Or maybe you have a child that is planning on going to college? Here’s your reminder that financial aid applications are due way before your taxes are. This year the FAFSA deadline for Fall 2020 is March 1st. Again, taxes aren’t due till April 15th… I hope you can see the discrepancy there.
4. Gives your accountant a chance to work their magic
Using a tax professional? There’s a 100% chance that others are too. And you can expect that they’re extremely busy this time of year. If you’re wanting to maximize on your refund, start the process as early as possible. The professional you use will be able to pay more attention to your case the further away from the deadline you are, and that means they can explore more ways to get you your highest possible return AND help set you up for the remainder of 2020 to help you feel some peace with your finances this year.
For some, it may be necessary to wait a bit longer on filing than the April 15th deadline. If you need some extra time, you can request a 6 month extension by filling out this form and sending it to the specified address. Extensions are available to anyone, but the paperwork is due by April 15th.
To help you further prepare, we have some links below to helpful outside articles that will help you be fully informed in the tax preparation process:
The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.