Ready for the 2018 tax season? It starts Jan. 29, and here’s why you should file early.


The Washington Post, January 11, 2018

My grandmother Big Mama hated being late. She paid her bills well in advance of the due dates. She left for appointments super early.

“If you’re on time, you’re late,” Big Mama would say.

So for you on-time folks, take note, the IRS says the official start of the 2018 tax season is Jan. 29. But if you’re a procrastinator, you have until two extra days to file. Returns aren’t due until April 17.

The agency said it expects to get nearly 155 million individual tax returns this year. There’s good reason to not procrastinate in filing your tax return. You don’t want identity thieves to beat you to it.

Read: Why you should file your taxes ASAP

The IRS has been working with state revenue departments and the tax preparation industry as part of an initiative to tax related identity theft.

Read: Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft

Don’t forget that more than 145.5 million Americans had their Social Security numbers and other key personal information stolen when credit bureau Equifax was hacked last year.

“Even those who haven’t been directly affected by the Equifax breach could be a victim of tax identity theft,” reported Maryalene LaPonsie of U.S. News & World Report. “Prior security breaches have occurred at Target, Yahoo and LinkedIn, among other places. Paul Gevertzman, partner with accounting firm Anchin, Block and Anchin in New York City told LaPonsie, “You can just assume your information has been compromised.”

Eva Velasquez, CEO and president, Identity Theft Resource Center said on CNBC: “Our motto is, file first and beat the crooks. It does have an impact. You are not giving them an open window.”

And here’s something to consider writes CNBC Kelli Grant: Having a credit freeze or other monitoring in place doesn’t prevent tax-related identity theft. Crooks mostly just need your Social Security number, not information in your credit file, to submit a bogus tax return.

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