Filing Your Tax Return Early Won’t Do You Any Good

Here we are in the thick of tax season and lots of people are getting their shoeboxes full of reciepts together, organizing their credit card statements and cell phone bills, so that they prepare their tax returns or go to their accountant to do it for them.

Some of us — the enviably well organized — may already be done. Maybe they’ve even prepared their returns already. So now, to file now and get it done? Or to wait until April 15th? Certainly you don’t want to be late (or if you have to be late, you want to file for an extension of time to file), but now the question is: on time or early?

What? No Gold Star? Three Ways Filing Early Might Help

Surprisingly, except three narrow situations, in most circumstances, filing early does you no good. You don’t get extra points or anything.

What you might get, if you are owed a refund, is your refund sooner than if you filed later. That’s one of the three situations: get your refund sooner.

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When Does the Statute of Limitations Run Out for IRS Tax Audits?

A visitor to my website found it by asking this question in a search on Yahoo: “When does the statute of limitations run out for audits?”

The shortest answer is three years.

So the IRS Has Three Years – Three Years Starting When?

But that’s not quite enough information all by itself. The first, next question is: three years from what? What event makes the clock start ticking and counting down?

The shortest answer is that the clock starts counting down, when you, the taxpayer, file your tax return. But that’s not quite the whole story either:

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