Now is the time to get your tax info ready for filing

MASON CITY — You still have weeks before you need to file your federal tax returns — but an IRS spokesman says now is the time to be sure you have all the paperwork ready.

Chris Miller says organize the 2019 tax documents you already have and add to them as the other year end information comes in.
“Gather up your canceled checks, your property tax bills, any forms you get from your employer or your bank — like W-2’s and 10-99’s — and put those in one place,” Miller says. “Make sure they are altogether, so when it comes to file your taxes into the new year, you’ll have it all in one place. You won’t need to go looking for any paperwork.”

He says it’s also a good idea to get a copy of your 2018 income tax filing as you may need it to file this year. “For example, anyone using a tax software product for the first time may need to use their adjusted gross income — their AGI — from last year’s tax return to file their 2019 return electronically,” Miller says.

Miller says by having everything together, you will know what you have and don’t have for tax filing. Another suggestion for the start of 2020 is that you be sure your withholding from you paycheck is correct. Miller says if you get a bigger refund than expected — or got back less than expected — it’s a sign your withholding is not right. “Then you’re going to want to be someone who checks their withholding as quickly as possible in the new year to be sure that the amount that’s being withheld from your paycheck by your employer is correct for your situation,” according to Miller.

He says you can check it online. “It’s called the withholding estimators. It’s a lot more improved than earlier versions — and you simply put in some information like your filing status and how much you earn — and you’ll be able to find out whether or not the amount you withhold is correct for your situation,” Miller says.

He says you may’ve been happy with the withholding last year — but have had things happen in your life that impact your tax status. “Checking your withholding is always a really good idea — especially if you have had a change in your life situation,” Miller explains. “If you have gotten married, or divorced, or had a baby or adopted children. These are some of the reasons you would want to check your withholding to be sure the right amount is being withheld for your situation.”

Miller says you can go to the IRS website and use the withholding tool to see if those life changes require a withholding change.