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The Early Bird Gets the...Tax Refund? How to Approach Filing Deadlines

The-Early-Bird-Gets-the-Tax-Refund-Myrick-CPA-Washington-DCWinter weather may still be hanging around, but for financially-minded folks, a different kind of chill is in the air – tax season is upon us! While April 15th might feel like a distant date on the horizon, it's approaching rapidly. This begs the question: early-bird filing or a last-minute scramble? There is no magical, one-size-fits-all answer; it all boils down to your unique financial situation and goals.

The best place to start is to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of filing early or the potential benefits of filing your return at the proverbial (or sometimes literal)  eleventh hour. Here are some tips that can help you decide how to approach filing deadlines.

The Perks of Filing Taxes Early

  • Faster Refunds: The IRS processes returns on a "first-come, first-served" basis. File early, and you could get a pleasant springtime surprise when that tax refund lands in your bank account faster than you expected. 
  • Peace of Mind, Unlocked: There's much to be said about the priceless value of peace of mind. Filing early gives you time to gather all your tax documents calmly and double-check everything for accuracy. Ditching that last-minute mindset is a great way to proactively minimize stress in your life.
  • Dodging the Errors: Rushing through any task often results in making mistakes. Early filing, on the other hand, lets you avoid those panic-induced typos and helps ensure your return is picture-perfect. 
  • Identity Theft Protection: Submitting your return early helps prevent fraudulent filings using your information

So, with all that said, who should jump on the early tax filing bandwagon?

  • Refund Recipients: Early filers often get their money back faster.
  • Non-itemized Returns: No complex calculations or deductions? If you have only one W-2 or another simple tax situation, why not get it done early - and enjoy peace of mind.
  • Prone to Procrastination: If you're the type to put everything off until the very last minute, it's best to get an early start on something as crucial as your taxes.

When is it Better to Wait to File Taxes?

Speaking in broad generalities, filing early is better for many people than holding off until later in the season. That being said, there are situations in which filing a bit later can give you a lot more breathing room:

  • Avoiding the Early Payment Blues: Know you're likely to owe taxes? Filing early means sending in payment sooner, which can have cash-flow implications.
  • Staving off Amended Return Woes: While there are deadlines in place to help ensure everyone receives vital tax forms in time to complete returns, mistakes happen. Sometimes, companies are late sending out documents, or they mail new ones after the fact to make corrections. If you are a freelancer or gig worker with multiple sources of income, you might want to wait until you’re sure that everyone you’ve worked for has provided you with the required forms. Receiving a modified or late form after you've filed means you could be forced to amend your filing.

Choosing the Right Time to File Your Taxes

Life is complicated, and everyone's situation is different. Weigh the pros and cons, consider your individual circumstances, and choose the strategy that best suits your needs. This often means working with a knowledgeable tax professional.

A CPA or other tax professional knows how to help you take advantage of all available deductions and credits to maximize your refund or minimize your tax burden. They can analyze your situation and advise you as to when the time is right for you to file your returns. 

At Myrick CPA, our team of experienced and knowledgeable tax professionals can help you navigate the intricacies of early filing or strategic waiting. Ready to make sure you've got the right plan for your situation? We offer a broad range of services, including: 

  • Expert tax preparation and analysis: Ensure accuracy and maximize your deductions and credits, regardless of when you file.
  • Personalized tax planning: Whether you're an early bird or a last-minute filer, we'll craft a strategy tailored to your specific goals and financial circumstances.
  • Clarity and peace of mind: Our team is here to answer your questions and guide you through the process, ensuring you feel confident and informed every step of the way.

Don't let tax season ruffle your feathers. Contact Myrick CPA and let our experts help you make the most of your filing strategy. A smooth and stress-free tax season awaits!

Schedule a Tax Planning Meeting