Even If You Owe, File Taxes Early To Avoid Late Surprise

When it comes to filing our taxes, many Americans are guilty of waiting until the last possible minute.

"This year, why not make a resolution to avoid the headache and file them early?" says credit expert Bethy Hardeman, chief consumer advocate for Credit Karma. "You don't want to find out that you have to write a check for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in April."

She says you should instead file early and know how much you owe -- since you don't have to pay your taxes until the filing deadline ... which this year is April 18.

Hardeman's tax tips include:

Avoid the last-minute scramble. Getting a head start means you have time to gather documents you may have forgotten you needed, or you can reach out for financial information without needing to file for an extension.

Prevent tax fraud. Tax refund fraud may happen earlier in the season as fraudsters seek to beat you to filing. Filing your legitimate tax return sooner can prevent the fraudsters from trying to take your return.

Get Your Refund Sooner. Filing early can help you get your tax refund earlier. The IRS is delaying some returns this year so you'll want to try and get ahead of the curve.

Pay off your debts. According to the IRS, the average refund was over $3,000 last year. You can use your refund to make extra payments towards your car, home, credit card or student loan debt.


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