It's everyone's favorite time of the year! Do you know what they say about death and taxes? They're both unavoidable.

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By now, you should have gotten your W2 or should have it in hand soon. Yesterday was the first day that the IRS started accepting individual tax returns for 2021. You'll want to make sure you file your taxes as soon as you can for several reasons.

The biggest reason for you to file early has to do with identity theft. Only one return will be accepted by the IRS. By filing early, you minimize the risk that someone will file under your name to steal your refund from you. That does happen.

The second reason you should file your taxes early is to get your refund back faster. That's if you're actually getting a refund this year. You can put that money in an investment account and start earning your own interest in it. It's your money after all.

If you owe money this year, I definitely understand wanting to keep that money until the last second and earn interest on it. However, given the chance of identity theft, I wouldn't risk it.

The third reason to file early is so you'll know if you owe money this year. It's better to give yourself a little more time to save the money you owe the government. That way it's not a total surprise with 5 seconds left in the game.

Make sure you wait to file until you have all of your tax documents.  I usually just take the standard deduction, but I make sure to still add in my husband's student loan interest information (even though it doesn't really do much for us). That way, it's on file with the IRS that I have a student loan in case we qualify for any student loan forgiveness programs down the road.

If you do wait to file your 2021 taxes, the deadline is Monday, April 18, 2022. If you plan to file an extension, you'll have until Monday, October 17, 2022.


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