The Early Bird Catches the Worm when it comes to Tax Season

Don’t Delay, Start Your Taxes Today

Have you heard the expression, “the early bird catches the worm”? When it comes to filing your annual tax return, that’s no exception. Sure, a lot of people wait until April to file, but there are a lot of advantages getting started early and finishing long before the deadline.

This year, you can file your income tax return as of February 20th, and it’s never too early to get organized. Here are a few benefits to filing your taxes early.

8 Great Reasons to Start your 2016 Taxes Today

1. You’ll get your money back faster

If you’re eligible to receive a refund on your 2016 tax return, you’ll most definitely want to file early. The quicker you file, the faster you’ll get your money! And who doesn’t look forward to money in their pocket? You might use the money to pay off some debt, or maybe even take a vacation. Wouldn’t that be nice?

As an extra strategic perk, if you complete your taxes and you receive a refund, you can do some planning and use the money as an investment to put toward your RRSPs to offset your 2017 taxes. Filing early and receiving a refund can help change your mindset about tax season from feeling like a burden to something you can look forward to.

2. Filing early gives you the opportunity to create a payment plan

If you do owe money on your 2016 tax return–sorry!–by filing early you’ll still have lots of time before April 30th to create a payment plan. This can reduce interest and penalties on the balance you have to pay. On the other hand, if you wait until the last minute to complete your tax return, you might be left scrambling to submit your payment on time.

3. You’ll have plenty of time to review new tax rules & updates

Every year, there are changes made to the tax rules. When you get started on your taxes early, you’ll have the chance to familiarize yourself with how these changes might impact your bottom line. You can learn more about the 2016 tax filing changes and updates in this article.

4. You can be proactive about your financial planning

At TAXplan we encourage a tax planning lifestyle, so that you can be proactive about your financial future. Managing your income taxes plays an important role in your overall financial planning. By knowing your 2016 tax information earlier in the year, you can use that knowledge to make important decisions related to investments and RRSPs. Being proactive with your 2016 taxes will make your 2017 financial plan easier to execute.

Also, if you have more than one job or employer, filing early will help to ensure that the appropriate amount of taxes are being withheld based on your entire income level, not just the pay you receive from one individual employer. This will reduce the risk having a large balance owing on your 2017 income tax return–and nobody likes that kind of surprise!

5. You’ll have lots of time to communicate with your TAXpro

The professionals at TAXplan are here to help you, both during tax season and throughout the year. We’re available to answer your questions and make suggestions about how you can optimize your tax situation.

When you start thinking about your taxes early, you’ll have plenty of time to ask questions, get our response, and follow up with additional questions. That kind of thought process and correspondence definitely benefits from extra time. When you feel rushed with the looming pressure of the tax deadline creeping up, it’s hard to get focused on your thoughts and questions. Give yourself lots of time so that you have chance to get answers, mull over the information, and then follow up with additional questions as needed.

Don’t get stuck waiting in line at the 11th hour with questions you haven’t had a chance to ask. Connect with us early to guarantee that you have the information you need.

6. Get Set Up Online with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

The CRA My Account online services have many different features that are useful when filing your tax return yourself. If you’re already set up with a user ID and password, that’s great; one less thing to do! However, if you haven’t used this service before, there’s a bit of a wait time to receive access to your online My Account. By getting started early on your income taxes, these small delays won’t affect you filing before the deadline.

On the other hand, we recommend the TAXplan app which gives you the benefits of working with a TAXpro, better accuracy and optimization than doing it yourself, and all at a fraction of the price of hiring an accountant.

7. Filing early helps to prevent identity theft

Not to be too paranoid, but there really are weird cases of identity theft out there. When you file early, you reduce the risk of a thief filing using your social insurance number since your return is already marked as complete. It may seem like a strange type of problem to encounter, but it’s becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, identity theft is not the only fraud that can occur. Learn more about how to protect yourself with these great tips from the CRA.

8. Filing your taxes early gives you peace of mind

It really is as simple as that. Completing your taxes well before the deadline gives you one less thing to think about. The unknown can be very stressful. Not knowing how much you owe or how big of a refund you’ll be receiving leaves you in the dark. Avoid worry by starting your taxes today!

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” ― Benjamin Franklin

When you delay filing your taxes, you put yourself at risk of facing interest and penalties on any amounts owing and you might miss out on receiving important monthly payments that require your annual taxes to be complete. So with so many great reasons to file early, why put it off? Start today and reap the many benefits of filing early.

Do you have all of your documents in order? Try TAXplan’s convenient and stress-free tax preparation app. Correspond with a TAXpro using the convenience of the app to file your taxes. You’ll be able to check off one big item on your to-do list, and hopefully receive one big deposit in your bank account!