Start planning for next year’s taxes
You can start planning now for filing your taxes next year — being organized and
planning ahead can save you time and money. Here are some IRS tips to help you
prepare for 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 or adoption 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
enrolled in insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2017
coverage and benefit from advance payments of the premium tax credit, you should
report changes in circumstances to the Marketplace now. Reporting events, such as
changes in your income or family size when they happen, helps you avoid getting too
much or too little advance payment of the premium tax credit. Getting too much
means you may owe additional money or get a smaller refund when you file your
taxes. Getting too little could mean missing out on premium assistance to lower what
you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums.
- Keep records safe. Establish one location where everyone in your household can
put tax-related records during the year. Print and keep a copy of your tax return and
supporting records together in a safe place. 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. This includes
Forms W-2, Forms 1099, bank records and records of your family’s health care
- 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 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 during the tax filing season and
three days a week in the summer. You’ll 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 explained in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your
rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.