Why you should file your taxes early (especially) this year

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It's only January, but there are some very important reasons to file your taxes early this year.

This year, experts say we will likely see a boom in tax fraud, thanks to the Equifax hack, and thieves making off with the social security numbers of more than 145 million Americans.

In just the first five months of 2017, more than 100,000 people learned that someone had filed a phony return using their social security number in order to steal the refund.

Here's what happens next: the IRS then rejects the real return and investigates.

And that means any refund you should be getting could be delayed for months. You also then have a real mess to clean up, thanks to the identity theft.

Filing early also helps you get your refund faster since you'll beat millions of other taxpayers to the punch. And if you owe the IRS, it helps to have some time to figure out a strategy for paying off that tax bill.

The Simply Money point: Your best move is to get organized now, and get those taxes filed early. The IRS starts accepting returns Jan. 29.?

And remember -- most Americans qualify for the "Free File" program through the IRS, too.

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