I am so determined to get my taxes done early this year. I was laying everything out already before New Year's Eve.

I've got all my deductions calculated. I have the income amounts ready and a list of the tax documents I'm waiting for.

I just want to be ahead of the game. But I have learned there's other reasons to file early, actually benefits.

The major benefit is lowering your risk significantly of becoming a victim of tax fraud. And this is a year that the IRS feels the amount of victims from a common con-game will be higher than ever.

Identity thieves use victims' personal information to file fraudulent tax returns electronically and claim bogus refunds. When the real taxpayers go to file their returns, they're notified that they're attempting to file duplicate returns.

It can take months to fix and can delay legitimate refunds. By filing your return as early as possible, you will reduce your risk at becoming a victim.

Accountants agree that the sooner you get your tax returns filed the better. Avoid the stress of deadlines where you are racing the clock and setting yourself up for mistakes like missing deductions and credits.

And you don't have to wait for all your tax documents that typically arrive late. You can take everything you currently have to your accountant so they can get started, and send in the rest of the items as they come.

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