You can start planning now for filing your taxes next year. Being organized and planning ahead can save you time and money. Now is a good time to set up a system to keep your tax records safe and easy to find. Here are some IRS tips to help you prepare for next year’s taxes:
- Store your return in a safe place. Keep a copy of your 2015 tax return and supporting records together in a safe place. This includes Forms W-2, Forms 1099, bank records and records of your family’s health care insurance coverage. If you ever need your tax return or records, you can easily access them.
- Organize your records. Establish one location where everyone in your household can put tax-related records during the year. You should also keep records of your own and your family members’ health care insurance coverage. This includes records of employer-provided coverage or premiums paid and type of coverage for private coverage, so you can show that you and your family members had and maintained required minimum essential coverage.
- Take action when life changes occur. Now is a good time to review your tax withholding so that the taxes withheld from your pay are closer to the taxes you’ll owe for the year. This is especially true if you normally get a large refund, and you would like more money in your paycheck. If you owed tax when you filed, you may need to increase the federal income tax withheld from your wages. To do that, file a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, with your employer. Use the IRS Withholding Calculator tool on IRS.gov to help you fill out the form.
- Report changes in circumstances to the Health Insurance Marketplace. If you enrolled in 2016 insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace coverage, you should report changes in circumstances to the Marketplace when they happen. Report events such as changes in your income or family size. Doing so will help you avoid getting too much or too little financial assistance.
- Shop for a tax preparer. Are you thinking about hiring a tax preparer to help you with tax planning? Start your search now and choose your tax preparer wisely. Use the Directory of Tax Return Preparers on IRS.gov to find tax preparers in your area with the credentials and qualifications that you prefer.
- Think about itemizing. You may be able to lower your taxes if you itemize deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. Owning a home, paying medical expenses and making qualified donations to charity could mean more tax savings. See the instructions for Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, for a list of deductions.
• Stay informed. Subscribe to IRS Tax Tips to get emails about tax law changes, how to save money and much more. You can also get Tax Tips on IRS.gov or IRS2Go, the IRS mobile app. You’ll receive Tips each weekday in the tax filing season and three days a week in summer. You will also get Special Edition Tax Tips at other times during the year.
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.
IRS Posted: Aug. 2, 2016
Links to help taxpayers find the information they need. IRS.gov
- Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax
- Publication 5152, Report changes to the Marketplace as they happen
- Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax, see Chapter 1, “What Records Should I Keep?”
- Tax Topic 305, Recordkeeping
You can also pay you taxes with your mobile device.
With IRS2Go, you can make payments with IRS Direct Pay and by debit or credit card. You can also check your refund status, find free tax preparation assistance, sign up for helpful tax tips and follow the IRS on Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.
IRS2Go is the official smartphone app of the IRS. It provides easy access to mobile- friendly payment options like Direct Pay and offers you a free, secure way to pay directly from your checking or savings account. You can also make a debit or credit card payment through an approved payment processor for a fee.
Simply download IRS2Go from Google Play, the Apple App Store or Amazon, and make your payments anytime, anywhere.