Filing Taxes Early Is Best

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April 17, the deadline for filing income taxes, is less than a month away. If you haven't gotten your 1040 done, now is the time to get serious.

Bill Hillstrom is a CPA with Jackson Hewitt Tax Services; he says waiting until the last minute can cause unexpected problems.

"The biggest risk you face is paying too much taxes because you don't have the time to prepare it accurately, you leave out deductions," said Bill Hillstrom, Jackson Hewitt Tax Services.

Hillstrom says as the tax deadline approaches, their office gets busier and busier and the number of people available to help prepare taxes is at a premium.

"Generally we have more preparers available so that if someone does come in they will be serviced, but there's a chance you could wait," said Hillstrom.

If you are one of the lucky ones expecting a return, waiting to the last minute could also mean waiting a little longer for your refund check.

"Because of the volume of returns that are filed, it's more difficult for the IRS to process them and process them accurately," said Hillstrom.

Larry Lightfoot with the Better Business Bureau says consumers should be leery of companies that guarantee refunds.

"They maybe make the numbers come out that way, but if Uncle Sam doesn't like those numbers the tax payer is the one that's responsible," said Larry Lightfoot, Better Business Bureau.

Doing some research is best.

"Make sure that the tax preparer has the proper credentials, make sure they've got the proper training," said Lightfoot.

"It's not wrong to ask the person across the desk from you how much experience they have," said Hillstrom.

That way you stand a better chance of having your taxes computed correctly, and that's a good way to stay off of Uncle Sam's audit list.