(WFSB) - The coronavirus forced the Internal Revenue Service to push back the tax filing start date this year.

Virus Outbreak-Tax Delay

This gives taxpayers less time to file before the April 15 deadline.

Tax professionals are urging people to think about filing early.

Tax time is a busy time at the Cowen Tax Advisory Group.

“It’s a whole new world to navigate due to the virus and changes in the tax code,” said Roger Cowen of the Cowen Tax Advisory Group.

The sooner taxpayers do it, the better off they will be.

Cowen said this year, there are five reasons to file early.

Number one, a faster refund.

“We recommend you file electronically and request direct deposit of your refund,” he said.

Or if people owe money, they’ll have more time to pay.

“Filing early will also give you time to budget if you owe money to the IRS,” Cowen said. “Understand that taxes are due April 15 this year even if you file for an extension.”

Number three, it also helps protect a taxpayer’s identity.

Cowen said according to the IRS, 25 percent of Americans wait to file in the last two weeks before the deadline.

He said filing early reduces the risk that someone steals their identities, files for them, and gets their refunds.

Number four, it eliminates costly mistakes.

“People who wait until the end often get pressured, hasty, they can make a math error, an omission,” Cowen said. “Understand, it’s easy to make a mistake on a tax return. It’s time-consuming and difficult to fix with the IRS and it can cost you too.”

Lastly, filing early helps people avoid last minute expenses.

When people wait to the last minute, it can cost them more not only in buying software but also the time of the professional. The more time a professional can spend with taxpayers, the more likely their taxes will be in the most advantageous situation.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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