Tax companies, clients filing early as IRS kicks off tax season

Tax companies, clients filing early as IRS kicks off tax season
Carole Thompson, multi-team leader at H&R Block in Gulfport, works with a client to file his tax return as IRS kicks off tax season on Monday. (Source: wlox)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Monday is the big kick-off to the national tax season. That is when the Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting and processing 2019 tax returns.

There are plenty of good reasons to get that return done early, and there are plenty of people ready to do it.

“This year, it seems like we’re seeing more people early on,” said Carole Thompson, multi-team leader at H&R Block in Gulfport. “I’m hoping that means we’re going to have a great year and it’s going to stay that way.”

Some people, like Brandon Montoya, are getting the ball rolling early rather than putting off the process and risking last-minute problems.

“Just trying to get everything squared before it gets bombarded,” he said.

It isn’t always an easy task to get to the front of the line.

“Over the years, I’ve been trying to get in early,” Montoya said. “But being head of the household, you know, everybody counts on me, so, you know, it’s kind of hard to squeeze in the time to get in and get it all done.”

He’s also among the early filers hoping to take advantage of a special deal for those who get earned income credit and additional child tax credit.

Because they will have to wait longer for any returns because of extra anti-fraud scrutiny through the PATH Act, H&R Block is offering monetary advances to those who qualify.

“It does take a while for them to look at your stuff and make sure you get the right, accurate tax refund,” Montoya said.

Thompson said there are many other reasons to file early.

“One of the best benefits of filing early is that you’re protecting your Social Security number from tax fraud,” she said. “As soon as that return gets filed, then if another return goes in with your Social Security number on it, it will be rejected because your social has been used.”

It also gives you time to collect necessary documents for this tax return and correct any problems for the next.

“Coming in early. That enables you to be able to go back to your employer in January, correct those problems so you don’t come in a second year with the same problems,” Thompson added.

She said this will a big year for many taxpayers because there will be no tax penalties for those who do not have health care insurance.

The IRS expects more than 150 million individual tax returns for the 2019 tax year to be filed, with the majority of those coming before the traditional April 15 tax deadline.

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