When is the Best Time to File Taxes?

Every January, Mrs. Goblin always starts getting nervous about filing our personal taxes. So with tax season coming up, it got me thinking: When is the best time to file your taxes?

Should you do it as soon as the New Year comes in or wait until the filing deadline of April 15th? The decision is quite different for everyone, but here are some important factors to consider when deciding what is right for you.

Early Is Not Always Better

I won’t lie, I’m a big fan of worms, but that doesn’t mean I try to be an early bird when it comes to filing my taxes. Even if you think you’ll get a refund, filing your taxes early is not necessarily best. In fact, it can sometimes end up being disadvantageous.

You can start filling out the paperwork early but give it a couple of days to check it over again.

Checking everything two or three times may take a little extra time, but you want to be sure everything is correct and especially sure you don’t miss out on things you can deduct (like those crazy-expensive college textbooks).

I’ve also noticed that most years I don’t even get all my tax return documents until sometime in February. The last thing you want to do is to file early, only to find out that you’ve missed paperwork that comes through in March!

Avoid the Last-Minute April Filing

Costs to file will increase in April. This is the high-demand period, so accountants and other tax preparation firms hike their prices up.

If you want to keep the cost of filing to a minimum, make sure you do it before the end of

You’ll definitely have all the paperwork by March, and you will still have several weeks to check over everything calmly while not having to worry about late fees for missing the deadline.

Just the thought of per late fees makes me cringe! Especially once you learn that the current late fee penalty is 5% of the amount that you owe for each month that you are late! Also, if you file on time but make amendments late, there will be other penalties to pay.

Bottom line: you don’t want to rush your paperwork, so get started BEFORE April.

File Online (e-File) For Faster Processing & Refunds

Filing your tax return by mail can have a six-to-eight-week turnaround, and then you still have to wait for your refund check to come through the mail.

By opting for e-filing, you’re making the process of checking returns and issuing refunds quicker.

With e-filing, it usually takes around 21 days to get your refund, and it’s sent straight into to your bank account via direct deposit. The funds will clear immediately, and you may even be surprised how quickly you get your refund.

Of course, the sooner you file the return, the sooner those 21 days will pass. I know I would much rather be spending some Q.T. with Gabby and Garth in front of the tube than waiting for my tax refund to clear.

Closing Thoughts

There are plenty of people asking when is the best time to file your taxes, with different opinions based on the outcome you want.

Just make sure you start the paperwork early to give you time to report everything accurately. You’ll avoid penalties, unexpected fees, and trouble with the IRS. You’ll also feel more confident that you haven’t missed anything when the deadline passes.

Above all else, make sure you file your tax return carefully, and on time.