When to file your taxes – should I file early?

March 5, 2018 Greg Caramanica

2017 tax returns are Due April 17th, 2018.  Should you file before then?

Remember that massive data breach in 2017?  This could have a significant impact on your decision to file early.  If you don’t remember, in 2017 there was a huge security breach at the credit reporting company Equifax that exposed sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and addresses, of up to 143 million Americans (CNN article).

Criminals have been known to file false tax returns in the attempt to get their hands on a person’s tax refund.  Even if you don’t think you are entitled to a refund, these bad actors could easily falsify a tax return to show a tax refund.  Using your name, social security number, address, and other information (stolen from Equifax), they file the tax return and collect a tax refund in your name – all without you knowing. Then when you go to file your tax return, there is a problem.

The moral of the story is that you should file as soon as you can.

It’s a balance of filing too early and filing too late.  If you file too early, you could continue getting tax forms in the mail that you should have included in your return, forcing you to file an amended return later.  But if you file too late, you could expose yourself to tax return fraud.

Look at your previous year’s tax return and the forms you received in support of that tax return.  If your situation is similar to last year and have received everything you received forms from all the same institutions you received last year, then you are good to go.  If you are expecting more, wait.

If you need help preparing and filing your tax returns, schedule an appointment with Arlington Wealth Planning, LLC – a provider of financial planning and tax preparation services.

Phone: 1 (571) 263-1178 or Book an appointment here


About the Author:

Greg Caramanica is the managing member and COO of Arlington Wealth Planning, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor located in Arlington, Virginia.  Mr. Caramanica is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, providing financial planning , insurance, and tax services.