e-filing — January 07, 2019

How Soon Can I File My Taxes?

by Susannah McQuitty

A man prepping his tax info to file with 1040.com

Today’s the day to file your taxes, because 1040.com is officially open for business! Many taxpayers want to get their tax returns finished as early in the year as possible—and as crazy as early filing may sound (who’s that eager to do taxes in January?), there’s good reason.

The pros of filing early in the year

Filing your taxes early isn’t just a good way to avoid procrastinating, it’s also the simplest way to protect your tax return from fraud. The IRS only accepts one tax return per Social Security Number, so even if a fraudster has your info, they can’t file as you and claim a fraudulent refund if you’ve already finished your taxes.

On top of security, you’ll also have more time to manage your finances before the April 15 deadline. If you were expecting a refund but end up owing more tax than you paid throughout the year, you’ll have more time to collect the difference before April than you would if you filed in March.

Filing your 2018 tax return early is probably the best modus operandi due to tax reform, too. Your financial situation may be totally different on your taxes this year, and while many people will come out with a smaller tax bill, it’s good to be prepared.

A woman reviewing her tax records as she files online with 1040.com

So how early can you file?

Speaking of tax reform, the IRS could be a bit behind their typical timetable when it comes to a start date for processing returns. Usually, the government starts accepting tax returns in mid-to-late January, but the official opening day for filing taxes in 2019 is yet to be announced. Amidst a partial government shutdown and the vast changes required due to tax reform, there are concerns that the IRS may need to push the start date back a week or two.

Good news, though—you can start filing and even finish your tax return on 1040.com today! We’ll queue up all tax returns filed with us and have them waiting on the IRS’s electronic doorstep the moment they open for business. That way you can get all the perks of filing early without having to wait for February.

Want to learn more about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Check out our Tax Reform 101 section of the Tax Guide, and be sure to use our Tax Estimator App to see a breakdown of how tax reform will affect your personal tax situation and file your taxes with 1040.com.

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