1. You benefited from the advance child tax credit
The advance child tax credit payments were only half of your total 2021 child tax credit. When you file your income tax return, you will receive the other half of the credit as part of your tax refund (assuming you’re getting a refund this year).
2. You didn’t get your full stimulus check
The third round of COVID-19 stimulus checks started in March 2021. If you didn’t get your check or got less than you should have because you had a child in 2021, you can receive your full payment by claiming the recovery rebate credit on your tax return.
If you’re expecting a refund this year, filing sooner will mean you get your refund sooner. One exception is that if you claim the earned income tax credit or additional child tax credit for 2021.
4. Filing early can help protect you from identity theft
One type of tax fraud and identity theft that criminals use is to file a return with a stolen Social Security number so they can claim the refund early in the year.
A lot of tax filers could benefit from filing their taxes sooner, but many people could also benefit from procrastinating on their taxes.
Filing your taxes could be difficult or impossible if you don’t have all the necessary tax documents. So if you’re waiting for a tax document, do your best to get it before you try filing your taxes.
4. You plan to request a tax extension If you can’t or don’t want to file your tax return by April 18, you can get six more months by requesting a tax extension. Tax extensions are automatic as long as you file Form 7004 with the IRS by Tax Day. Just make sure you still pay any tax bill by Tax Day.