Why it may be a good idea to file your taxes asap.

Here's how waiting could be risky.

The first day you could file taxes this year was January 29th, yet you may not have even realized or cared. That's because the deadline to file returns, April 17th, seems like the key date. But if you haven't already filed, you should seriously consider doing so as soon as you can to help protect against tax identity fraud.

What's tax identity fraud?

Tax identity fraud happens when someone has enough of your personal information, including your Social Security Number, to pretend they're you when filing taxes. Typically, these thieves are looking to get a tax refund in your name before you (or anyone else) finds out

Win the filing race.

How does filing your taxes as soon as possible help protect against tax identity fraud? Since the IRS only processes one tax return per Social Security Number, if you file first, you'll beat any would-be fraudsters to the punch.

Take protection (and a possible early refund) into your hands.

While the IRS is getting better at detecting tax identity fraud, it's still not a bad idea to protect yourself by filing as soon as you can. And if you're due for a refund, you may get it sooner the sooner you file. If nothing else, just think about all the stress you'll relieve by not waiting until the last minute!