Preparers recommend e-filing taxes, but not too early

By Sunni Blevins - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you want a quick tax refund, file your returns online and you can have your money deposited directly into your bank account in as little as 10 days.  For paper returns, it can take four to six weeks.

"They have assured all of us that the information is very safe and secure with filing electronically," said Keith Muth, Managing Partner, Virginias Asset Management.

For those who owe on your taxes, you can still file electronically and pay later, as long as payments are received by April 15.

Just about the only thing that will keep you from e-filing is if you plan to take advantage of the expanded tax credits for home buyers approved by Congress in November.

For example, if you qualify for the first-time home buyers credit, then you will need to file a paper form and submit certain documentation.

It's a safeguard that prevents fraud.

"Because there's some concern about proving residency and seeing the settlement statement, those types of documents have to be sent via paper to the IRS," Muth said.

Muth says as tempting as it may be when you get that W-2, do not file too early.

Certain types of financial institutions have an extended deadline for sending out their forms, and if you don't claim those things, the IRS will find out.

"If you have investment accounts, mutual funds, stocks and trades where you get a 1099 from a brokerage firm, you may be on the lookout for that, contact them, but it may well be that they take until February 15 because of all the complexities of gathering that information," Muth said.

If you file your taxes and get a form you needed later, quickly file an amended return.

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