The first of January marked the beginning of 2018.
It also marked the first day taxpayers could file their 2017 tax return.
That may sound a bit premature to people and businesses used to filing later in the winter months.
But account and owner of Pittsburgh-based Peekz ConsultiN, Amy Peek, warns taxpayers to avoid delay. Peek says to file as soon as possible this year in light of widespread security breaches in 2017, like Equifax, that could put your return at risk.
The official tax season doesn’t start until mid-January, meaning the IRS won’t begin processing returns and refunds until later this month. Most returns aren’t due until mid-April.
And most people won’t receive many of the necessary forms, like W-2s until the end of January.
Accountants can calculate your earnings based on your last pay stub, however, if there is some delay in your paperwork, Peek says.
And time is of the essence.
The data of more than 143 million Americans were comprised in September’s Equifax data breach.
At the time, the Federal Trade Commission recommended that all taxpayers file their taxes as early as possible in 2018 before someone else tries to use their information.
If the IRS receives two returns for the same taxpayer(s), there undoubtedly will be delay in processing as the agency investigates, which is why it’s important to get the ball rolling on your own return as soon as possible.
In response to taxpayers who are concerned about identity theft, the IRS highlighted its work with state tax authorities and professionals to rev up security measures as part of the Security Summit.
“Summit efforts have led to a nearly 50 percent decline in the number of new reports of stolen identities on federal tax returns,” the IRS stated in a news release.
“While working to stop fraudulent refunds, the IRS remains focused on releasing legitimate refunds as quickly as possible in 2018.”
Please contact Peekz ConsultiN or your accountant as soon as you are ready to file this year. We expect higher volumes earlier in the season than is typical as a result of the breaches.
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Peekz ConsultiN LLC is a Pittsburgh-based accounting firm, located in the West Side, that caters to individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. We aim to empower clients to help them take control of their finances and achieve their dreams.