CLEVELAND -- It’s that time of year again. Even though income taxes are not due until April 17 this year, the IRS started accepting tax returns Monday.
Typically it's those expecting refunds who file their taxes this early, but the Tax Policy Center says the recent tax cuts will increase those expecting returns and could also delay some refunds. So, more people may be looking to file earlier.
NerdWallet says the magic date, if you’re looking to file cheaply and get your refund quickly, is March 15. They say prices for tax software or tax professionals tend to go up if we get close to the deadline.
When it comes to avoiding tax scams as you prepare, Terry Lehman, of the IRS Criminal Investigation unit, says to avoid preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than others. Lehman says another red flag is when preparers base their fee on a percentage of the refund they get you.
He adds not to sign blank forms and make sure to get a copy of your return. Ultimately, it’s a taxpayer’s responsibility to make sure entries are accurate and a fraudulent federal income tax return is a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison.