File income taxes early....or?

I do my taxes early but do not E-file until min-March. I do this because a former IRS agent told me the IRS have hundreds [thousands?] of new agents every year. So early filers are scrutinized more thoroughly as new agents are trained and they examine early filers with more detail.

I have no fear of a mistake, but have done it this way to years. Do you think this might be true? Or myth?

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That’s what I do for the same reason. Not sure whether it makes any difference.


Glad I’m not alone. It makes sense to me, and I can wait another +month for the refund

I could see a reason it might better to file early instead: the inexperienced agents don’t really know what they’re doing until later, so anything that looks pretty much ok could fly through early in the season.

There’s also the matter of how many audits they can do. If you file early, they still have lots of of audit “slots” available. If you file later, maybe they can’t do that many more. But that could work the other way, too: if they haven’t filled their quota of audits from early returns, maybe they are more strict later on for what triggers an audit.

I have no idea if any of these characterizations are even close to reality. I suspect none of the pundits do either.

My ex-agent friend said it’s the opposite. New agents, afraid of missing something, examine returns with a 100X mag glass.

OMG file early to get a refund before the tax fraudsters steal it.

That’s one of the reasons to file early [and get refund quicker] but if you get the IRS PIN number, they say it can’t be stolen.

I once thought the PIN was forever [not yearly] so used the prior year PIN. The IRS rejected my return, so I believe the PIN system works

I usually file late March or early April, I normally have to pay a few bucks and figure it makes sense not to file early. It takes a while to gather all the needed various pieces and parts as well.

Better to not get a refund at all.

I file the day before taxes are due…I have to wait on a lot of K-1s and I owe a lot of money anyway…

I also file at the last minute. I get my taxes done early, but generally owe some. I’ll file a day or two before the deadline then have the payment scheduled to come out on the due date.

I think there’s good reason for that. In addition, gazillions file at the last minute and some questionable deductions might slip by in the deluge.

Sounds like a myth. Less than 1% of tax returns are audited. As long as the numbers match between your W2s, 1099s, etc. and what you enter on the form your risk of audit or error is extremely low. Good point above about claiming your refund as early as possible (it’s an interest-free loan to the government).

I actually wait until April because a few times in the past my brokerage sent incorrect 1099s or other financial statements in January and then sent corrected versions in March. If you’ve already filed, you may have to do an amended return.

I don’t worry about being audited. If I’m getting a refund, I file as early as I can. If I owe, I file as late as I can. They can audit my 1099s and W2 all they want. Pretty straight forward.

There was an article in the WSJ opinion section a few days ago by a C.P.A. who strongly recommended filing paper returns as opposed to electronic returns. If the simplest of errors is made with an electronic return there is a high probability of rejection by an IRS computer. If the return is rejected, it will be considered to not having been filed until an amended electronic return is accepted. In contrast, a paper return is considered filed on the postmark date.

OK, but if you file electronically, you get an immediate confirmation it was accepted. If not accepted, you fix it and refile. There’s no “amended” return to file because the original return isn’t on file at the IRS at all. If you get a rejection and don’t fix it, it’s your own dumb fault. I would stay as far away from that CPA as possible. He sounds like an idiot.

I usually file paper returns for other reasons.