The IRS opened the 2023 individual income tax return filing season on Jan. 23. Even if you usually don’t file until closer to the mid-April deadline (or you file an extension), you may want to file early. It can potentially protect you from tax identity theft. In these scams, a thief uses another person’s personal information to file a fraudulent return early in the filing season and claim a bogus refund. Another benefit of early filing is that if you’re getting a refund, you’ll get it sooner. This year, the filing deadline to submit 2022 returns, file an extension and pay tax owed is April 18 for most taxpayers. If you’re requesting an extension, you’ll have until Oct. 16 to file.