Lawmakers have a plate full of leftovers from 2011 to keep them busy for a while. Even though the New Year is supposed to mean reforms and changes for policymakers, there is still some unfinished business left over from before the ball dropped in New York. More than 50 expiring business and individual tax breaks are still in limbo.
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Now that a new year is underway, it’s time to think about taxes. You can file your taxes starting January 31, 2014, and perhaps you should consider filing as early as possible.
Yahoo! Finance has a few good reasons to consider filing your taxes as early as you can:
- Get your money faster: If you are expecting a refund, the earlier you file, the faster you’ll get your money. Even if you don’t think you’ll get a refund, it still makes sense to file earlier in some cases.
- Financial aid: If you have a child in college, getting the maximum amount of financial aid hinges on getting your forms in early. The faster you do the taxes, the earlier you can send in the FAFSA application.
- Dependent claims: If you and your ex can’t decide who gets to claim the kids, and it’s spelled out for you in the decree, you might be able to win by being the first one to file the return, according to Yahoo! Finance.
- Avoid identity theft: One of the growing problems with tax fraud is a scammer claiming a refund with your name and Social Security number. By the time you file, it’s a mess. File early, and you cut your chances of an identity fraudster beating you to it.
- Catch mistakes: Finally, the article points out that you can catch potential mistakes, since you have time to review your return before you actually file it. When you can take more time, you are less likely to make errors that result in audits.
Of course, you don’t want to file early just to file early. Think about whether or not it makes sense for you. If you are waiting on forms and other documentation, you need to wait. It’s better to wait than to have to amend your form later.