To procrastinate filing your taxes has become the American way. It’s why April 15th is emblazoned on our brains as the drop-dead date to file. This has got to change.
Last year was a major year for identity theft and tax filings. Stolen identities were used to file taxes, and since the thieves put in their own bank account information, thousands of tax returns were sent to thieves instead of their rightful owners. It wasn’t until filing on their own, that regular people were alerted “they” had already filed and couldn’t file again.
The only real way to prevent this is to not procrastinate. As soon as you have your W9 and other statements, file. The longer you leave the window open, the more likely it is someone could fraudulently file in your name. You want to avoid a situation where you have to prove to the IRS you are yourself. This isn’t about panicking, this about being proactive and protecting yourself.
It’s like my Grandpa always said, rush, but don’t hurry. Or was it hurry, but don’t rush? You get the idea, file as soon as you can!
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.