“It’s human nature,” Walker said. “It’s easier to see blatant errors once you’ve put it down and look at it later.”

Even technical issues like a computer failure (or realizing that your information is on a laptop you left at work) could increase your chances of making mistakes.

“If you run into a glitch at the last minute, there’s just not enough time to remedy the situation which may result in your return getting filed late,” Walker said.

4.) You’ll receive less attention from your preparer

If you’re using a tax professional, expect them to be busy as that April 17 deadlines approaches.

“As things come in, we put them in a queue, first in first out,” Davidoff said. “You’ll get more attention from your tax preparer if you get it in in March than if you get it in in April.”

In addition, rushing last’s year filing could leave you less tax-informed about this year, said Brian Thompson, president of the National Society of Accountants. (This year there’s even more to know, of course, thanks to the massive overhaul to the tax code).

“When I work with clients, I’m also planning with them for 2018,” Thompson said. “It’s the time of the year they’re in our office.”

If you need another incentive, remember: The sooner you file, the sooner that return will be in your back account.

“The longer you go without it,” McBride said, “the longer you’re giving the government an interest-free loan.”

The number one thing people are doing with their tax refund. Elizabeth Keatinge has more. Buzz60

Income tax return high rollers

The IRS expects it will receive more than 153 million tax returns this year. In the 2015 tax year, the average refund paid was $2,860. See below for details on the number of taxpayers who got some of their money back in previous years.


No. of returns getting a refund


110.71 million


113.47 million


111.86 million


112.75 million


112.00 million

Source: Internal Revenue Service, CNBC

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