Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Get ready for taxes: what to do now before the tax year ends

As tax filing season approaches, taxpayers should remember there are things they can do before the end of the year. Doing these will help people get ready for the upcoming tax filing season.

Here are a few things taxpayers still have time to do this year:

Donate to charity

For those who plan to itemize deductions, there is still time to make a 2019 donation. Taxpayers who itemized in the past should remember that the standard deduction has increased. This may limit or eliminate the itemized deductions for many taxpayers.

Report an address change

Taxpayers who moved should notify the IRS of their new address. They should also remember to notify the Social Security Administration of any name change.

Renew expiring ITINs

Certain individual taxpayer identification numbers expire at the end of this year. Taxpayers can visit the ITIN page on IRS.gov for more information on which numbers need renewal.

Connect with the IRS

Taxpayers can use social media to get the latest tax and filing tips from the IRS. The IRS shares information on things like tax changes, scam alerts, initiatives, tax products and taxpayer services. These social media tools are available in different languages, including English, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Find information about retirement plans

IRS.gov has end-of-year find tax information about retirement plans. This includes resources for individuals about retirement planning, contributions and withdrawals. Taxpayers who are 70½ and over can still take a required minimum distribution from traditional IRA, SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA, or retirement plan accounts. Taxpayers who reached 70½ in 2019 can wait until April 1, 2020, to receive their first required minimum distribution.

Contribute salary deferral

Taxpayers can make a deferral to a retirement plan. This helps maximize the tax credit available for eligible contributions. Taxpayers should make sure their total salary deferral contributions do not exceed the limit for 2019.

Think about tax refunds

Taxpayers should be careful not to expect getting a refund by a certain date. This is especially true for taxpayers who plan to use their refund when making major purchases or paying bills. Just as each tax return is unique and individual, so is each taxpayer's refund. Taxpayers can take steps now to make sure the IRS can process their return next year.

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