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You should receive the tax documents you need to file your income tax return by January 31, 2007. If you do not receive them by that date, call the payer and ask about it. For wage-earners (employees) that will be your W-2, for instance. If you do not receive them by February 15, 2007, call the IRS for help.
It is important to know that the sooner you file your income tax return, the sooner the processing of your return will start. This is obvious, but much be stated. Many, many taxpayers wait until the last minute to begin the tax preparation process. (Especially those who know that they will be paying taxes).
If you file your income tax return early in the tax season, you will receive your refund quicker. This applies for both paper and electronic income tax filing. Also, the IRS will be processing less returns earlier in the tax season. Even though all times of the tax season (January through April 16, 2007) are considered the busy season, the income tax returns received early in the season will be processed in a shorter time. That is important to know if you are expecting a refund.
If you take your tax information to a tax professional early, there probably will not be many other taxpayers waiting in line for help. The tax preparer will be more relaxed, have ample time to thoroughly research any tax issues/concerns and give you their undivided attention. This is not to say that tax preparers are grouchy ogres in the later tax season who do not concentrate on your income tax needs. It just means that earlier tax season finds a more relaxed tax preparer.
If you wait until the last minute to schedule an appointment, or walk-in with your tax documents, and if your return is complicated enough (usually anything other than a basic), you will probably have an extension filed.