Tax season is upon us and, as of today, filings are being accepted by the IRS.

If you procrastinate, you will put yourself at a disadvantage. Experts say that the earlier you file your returns, the quicker you’ll receive your refund. Also, filing early helps safeguard your identity from fraudulent tax filings.

According to ABC News, the average refund for Americans was $2,895 in 2016 and 90 percent of tax refunds will be issued within 21 days of filing, as stated by the IRS.

For first time filers, here are a few tips that you should know:

1: Look out for tax forms in the mail from your employer or anyone you may have worked for as an independent contractor. Most of these forms should be sent by the end of January.

2: For student loan deductions, your lender should send you a Form 1098-E toward the beginning of the year which will include the amount of interest you paid. The most student loan interest you can claim as a deduction is $2,500 and it is also limited by your income.

3: Look out for other deductions that could apply to you, such as mortgage interest, tuition, education costs and charitable gifts.

4: Don’t forget about state taxes, which are also due at the same time as federal taxes. Check the laws in your state to what tax breaks are available.

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