Tax Time

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Earlier is better when it comes to working on your taxes. Taxpayers are encouraged to get a head start on tax preparation, especially since early filers avoid the last minute rush and get their refunds sooner.

Here are seven easy ways to get a good jump on your taxes long before the April deadline is here:

1) Gather your records in advance. Make sure you have all the records you need, including W–2s and 1099s. Don't forget to save a copy for your files.

2) Get the right forms. They are available around the clock at the IRS website, www.irs.gov.

3) Take your time. Don't forget to leave room for a coffee break when filling out your tax return, as rushing can mean making a mistake.

4) Double–check your math and verify all Social Security numbers. These are among the most common errors found on tax returns. Taking care will reduce your chance of hearing from the IRS and speed up your refund.

5) Use e–filing. It's easy, catches math errors, and provides confirmation your return has been received. It also gives you a faster refund.

6) Get the fastest refund. When you e–file early, you receive your refund faster. When you choose direct deposit, you receive your refund sooner than waiting for a check.

7) Don't panic. If you have a problem or a question, remember the IRS is there to help. Try the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call the IRS customer service number at 800–829–1040.

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