Everything You Should Know About Filing an Early Tax Return
Mar 18, 2023 By Rick Novak

Filing taxes is a necessary task for most working individuals, and while the deadline is typically in April, there are several reasons why you might want to file your taxes early. One of the primary benefits of filing an early tax return is the potential for a faster refund. If you are due a refund, filing early can help you receive it sooner than waiting until closer to the tax deadline. The IRS typically processes tax returns in the order they are received, so the earlier you file, the sooner your return will be processed. This means you could receive your refund weeks earlier than if you wait to file.

Tax season can be stressful for many individuals, and the thought of filing taxes early may not even cross their minds. However, filing an early tax return can offer several advantages worth considering. Not only can it help you avoid last-minute rush and errors, but it can also provide a range of other benefits, including a faster refund, more time to resolve any potential issues, and the ability to plan for the future. This article will explore some of the key reasons you may want to consider filing an early tax return. This article will discuss some of the key reasons to file an early tax return.

Get Your Refund Sooner

One of the most obvious benefits of filing your tax return early is receiving your tax refund sooner. If you're expecting a refund, you may be able to receive it within a few weeks of filing your return rather than waiting until the end of the tax season.

Avoid Identity Theft

Identity theft is a growing concern and can be particularly problematic during tax season. Scammers can use your personal information to file a fraudulent tax return and steal your refund. By filing your taxes early, you can reduce the risk of identity theft by getting your return in before a scammer can file a fraudulent return in your name.

Avoid Penalties

Filing your tax return late can result in penalties and interest charges, which can add up quickly. Filing early can avoid these penalties and save money on interest charges.

Free Up Your Time

Filing your tax return can be time-consuming, particularly if you have a complex financial situation. By filing early, you can free up your time and avoid the stress of rushing to complete your return at the last minute.

Have More Time To Plan

Filing your tax return early can give you more time to plan for the future. If you're expecting a large tax refund, you can use the extra time to plan how to use that money best. Alternatively, if you owe taxes, you can use the extra time to budget and ensure you have the funds to pay your tax bill by the deadline.

Receive Financial Aid Earlier

If you or a dependent are planning to attend college, filing your tax return early can help you receive financial aid sooner. Many colleges and universities require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine financial aid eligibility, and the application requires information from your tax return. By filing your tax return early, you can ensure you have the necessary information to complete the FAFSA and receive financial aid as soon as possible.

Avoid Delays

Tax season can be busy, and the IRS can experience delays in processing returns. By filing your tax return early, you can avoid potential delays and ensure your return is processed promptly.


Filing your tax return early can provide several benefits, including receiving your refund sooner, avoiding identity theft, avoiding penalties, freeing up your time, having more time to plan, receiving financial aid earlier, and avoiding delays. While there may be reasons why you cannot file early, it's worth considering the benefits and planning accordingly to ensure a stress-free tax season. It's important to note that not everyone may benefit from filing their tax return early. Suppose you have a complex financial situation, such as owning a business or having multiple investments. In that case, you may need more time to gather all the necessary documentation and information to file your return accurately. Additionally, if you owe taxes and cannot pay them by the deadline, filing early may not be the best option, as you will still be subject to interest and penalties for late payment.

Furthermore, ensuring you have received all the necessary tax documents before filing your return is important. This includes forms such as W-2s and 1099s, which may be available after the tax deadline. Filing your return too early could result in errors and delays if you have to file an amended return to correct any inaccuracies.