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You Still Need to File Now! 

I often hear people say, “I’m in no rush to file my taxes because I always owe!” Well, you should be in
a hurry to file, even if you know you will owe the IRS. Here are a few reasons why:

Reduce Risk. Filing early decreases the likelihood of your becoming a victim of tax identity theft. What is tax identity theft? It’s when someone files a fraudulent return under your Social Security Number in order to get a refund.

Most victims don’t know they have been scammed until THEY file a return that’s legitimate, and the IRS rejects it as a duplicate! So yes, it’s March, and while we are no longer in the early phase of tax season, go ahead and file! And resolve to file earlier next year.

Pinpoint Gaps. You’ll know early on what documents are missing, and will have time to get them. Now where did you put that W-2? April 14 is not the time to realize you need another copy.

Prep for Other Financial Tasks. Buying a new home? Have a child applying for financial
aid? You will probably need your Form 1040 or at least the information from it to complete applications.

Face the Music and Make a Plan. Filing early gives you time to figure out how you are going to pay what you owe, AND gives you time to make changes to your withholdings to prevent a repeat scenario next year.

Save $$. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to incur tax prep rush fees, as well as the preparer’s fees for extension filing.

Also note that filing an extension gives you more time to file your return, not pay your tax balance. If you don’t have the money to pay on April 15, you must at least make a payment arrangement by the deadline. While the arrangement won’t prevent penalties and interest, you can at least avoid garnishment.

I get it. Filing returns isn’t fun, and owing is even less enjoyable. However, once you have a plan to address your tax liability, you can redirect your energy to focus on other areas of your business and life. By the Book Accounting can help you figure out your options!

Note: The filing and payment deadline was moved to July 15 for 2019 tax returns. 

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Bernadette L. Harris
Forensic Accountant at By The Book Accounting
Bernadette L. Harris is a Forensic Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Expert Witness, Keynote Speaker, and #1 bestselling author who has helped hundreds of business owners put systems in place to protect their businesses and prepare for growth.

Her latest books, Business Blueprint 2.0 and Did You Hire a Fraud? can be purchased at: Shop.BernadetteHarris.com.

She speaks to audiences across the country about entrepreneurship and fraud prevention. Follow her on social media @TrustBernadette