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Filing taxes early can be beneficial

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ABILENE, Texas - Tax season has arrived and some people are getting a head start on filing for an important reason: to prevent the theft of tax information.

But it also leads to getting any expected refund back faster.

"Well I got my W2s earlier and I really need the money to pay bills and help to get myself a car," said Dalton Ward, who was filing his taxes with Jackson Hewitt.

A tax specialist pointed out common mistakes tax payers might make while filing their taxes.

"Some of the common mistakes we see when correcting those do-it-yourself tax returns are the filing statuses," said Sharon Fox, District Manager of Jackson Hewitt.

Filing status is if you are filing your taxes by yourself or in combination with a spouse. This is a question where a costly mistake can easily be made.

With the Internal Revenue Service taking extra steps to verify all information submitted, filing early will give you a head start on getting your refund. The PATH Act was enacted because of fraudulent W2s the agency has received in the past.

Fox also pointed out another common mistake citizens make on their W2s.

Saying they work for a company and their W2 is going to be $1,000-$2,000 … they're thinking that's not enough on that W2 in order to claim that W2," Fox said.

But despite the low amount, the money is part of your income and those W2s need to be accounted, Fox said. She said all income for the year needs to be accounted for and you need to file the appropriate paperwork for it, even if you're self-employed or live on social security.

The last day to file your taxes is April 18 due to April 15 landing on a Saturday and the Washington, D.C. Emancipation Day holiday being observed on April 17.

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