There are steps that you can take now to make sure your tax filing experience goes smoothly next year. First, you can visit the Get Ready page on IRS.gov to find out more.

Here are a few other things that can be done now:

Check your withholding and make any adjustments soon
Since most employees typically only have a few pay dates left this year, checking your withholding soon is especially important. It’s even more important for those who:

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  • Received a smaller refund than expected after filing their 2018 taxes this year.
  • Owed an unexpected tax bill last year.
  • Experienced personal or financial changes that might change their tax liability.

Some people may owe an unexpected tax bill when they file their 2019 tax return next year. To avoid this kind of surprise,  use the Tax Withholding Estimator to perform a quick paycheck or pension income checkup. Doing so will determine if there might be a need to adjust your withholding or make an estimated or additional tax payments now. 

Gather documents
Everyone should come up with a recordkeeping system. Whether it’s electronic or paper, consider using a system to keep all important information in one place. Having all needed documents on hand before completing the return will help ensure an accurate tax return. This includes:

  • Copy of your 2018 tax return.
  • Forms W-2 from employers.
  • Forms 1099 from banks and other payers.
  • Forms 1095-A from the marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit.

Confirm mailing and email addresses
To ensure all forms are forward on time confirm now that each employer, bank and other payer has your current mailing address or email address. Typically, forms start arriving by mail or are available online in January.

Consider keeping all copies of tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Also, those using a software product for the first time may need the adjusted gross income amount from their 2018 return to validate their electronically filed 2019 return.

File electronically and choose direct deposit for a faster refund
Errors delay refunds. The easiest way to avoid them is to file electronically. Using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return. Tax prep software guides taxpayers through the process and does all the math. In fact, you can start looking into filing options now.

Another way to speed things up is to use direct deposit. Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way to get a refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a personal bank account without the need to worry about a lost, stolen or undeliverable refund check.