Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service encourages everyone to get a head start on tax preparation. Not only do you avoid the last-minute...

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Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. The Internal Revenue Service encourages everyone to get a head start on tax preparation.

Not only do you avoid the last-minute rush, early filers also get a faster refund.

There are seven easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April 15 deadline rolls around:

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• Gather your records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W-2s and 1099s. Don’t forget to save a copy for your files.

• Get the right forms. They’re available around the clock on www.IRS.gov in the Forms and Publications section.

• Take your time. Rushing can mean making a mistake — and that can be expensive.

• Double-check your math and Social Security number. These are among the most common errors on tax returns. Taking care on these reduces your chances of hearing from the IRS.

• Get the fastest refund. When you file early, you get your refund faster. Using e-filing with direct deposit gets you a refund in half the time as paper filing.

• E-filing is easy. E-filing catches math problems, provides confirmation your return has been received and gives you a faster refund.

• Don’t panic. If you have a problem or a question, remember the IRS is there to help. Try www.IRS.gov or call the toll-free customer service number at 1-800-829-1040.


Internal Revenue Service