Now is a Good Time to Plan for Next Year’s Taxes
IRS Tax Tip 2016-67, April 21, 2016
You may be tempted to forget about your taxes once you’ve filed but some tax planning done now may benefit you later. Now is a good time to set up a system so you can keep your tax records safe and easy to find. Here are some IRS tips to give you a leg up on next year’s taxes:
- Take action when life changes occur. Some life events can change the amount of tax you owe. Examples include a change in marital status or the birth of a child. When these happen, you may need to change the amount of tax withheld from your pay. 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 enroll in insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2016 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.
- Keep records safe. Print and keep a copy of your 2015 tax return and supporting records together in a safe place. This includes W-2 Forms, Forms 1099, bank records and records of your family’s health care insurance coverage. If you ever need your tax return or records, it will be easier for you to get them. For example, you may need a copy of your tax return if you apply for a home loan or financial aid for college. You should use your tax return as a guide when you do your taxes next year.
- Stay organized. Make tax time easier. Have your family put tax records in the same place during the year. That way you won’t have to search for misplaced records when you file next year.
- Shop for a tax preparer. If you want to hire a tax preparer to help you with tax planning, start your search now. Choose your tax preparer wisely. Use the Directory of Tax Return Preparers tool 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 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.
Additional IRS Resources:
- 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?”
IRS YouTube Videos:
- IRS Withholding Calculator – English | Spanish | ASL
- Premium Tax Credit: Changes in Circumstances – English | Spanish | ASL
- Record Keeping – English | Spanish | ASL (Obsolete)
- Standard vs. Itemized Deductions – English | Spanish | ASL
- IRS Withholding Calculator – English | Spanish
- Premium Tax Credit: Changes in Circumstances – English | Spanish
- Standard vs. Itemized Deductions – English | Spanish