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You’ve heard the saying about how the early bird gets the worm. During tax season, getting the worm means getting your money faster.

This extra cash could help pay off those Christmas bills, go toward savings for an unexpected medical or auto expense, fund an investment, or pay for a nice vacation for the family.

Here are a few reasons you should file sooner rather than later.

You Can File Earlier Than You Think

Yes, the deadline to file your tax return is April 15, but did you know filing season for individual tax payers opened on Jan. 27, 2020? If you’re expecting a tax return, why wait until the final day to file when you can get that money back sooner?

The IRS says it issues most refunds within 21 days for standard filings, so don’t wait until the last minute.

You Should Know What You Owe

If you are expecting to pay Uncle Sam, filing your return early is especially important. You should know how much you owe long before the April 15 deadline.

If you know what you owe ahead of time, you can save up money little by little instead of taking out a big chunk of change at the last minute. Psychologically you will feel a lot more calm if you have a clear game plan for how you’re going to pay what you owe.

You Need Room for Error

How many times have you filed a return, only to remember something that could’ve been written off a day later? Or have you ever stumbled upon that missing receipt that you couldn’t find when you were leafing through all your paperwork?

Giving yourself more time to prepare will help ensure you don’t accidentally short change yourself or make a mistake that leads to an audit.

If you use a certified public accountant (CPA) to prepare your return, booking an appointment in January or February will be much easier than waiting until March or April, when the CPA version of Black Friday madness hits.

Last year the IRS issued nearly 112 million refunds at an average of $3,000 each. Don’t wait until the last minute – get your money now!