Getting ready for tax time?
On this page, you’ll find tips to make tax time a little smoother, plus important information about tax law changes that may affect your investment and tax planning decisions.
Where are my tax forms?
Looking for your tax forms? Find out when your 1099 forms will be available.
Tax planning tips
Understanding tax basics and planning ahead can help you keep more money in your pocket, and make preparing your taxes easier. For the best potential outcome, consider working with a Tooltip in your local area—not just at tax time—but all year long to plan for tax-saving opportunities.
Here are four tips for a smoother tax season:
Check your payroll withholdings
Do this at least yearly and any time you have a major life event, like marriage, retirement, or a change in income. Not withholding enough can lead to a bigger tax bill, and withholding too much puts money you could have invested on hold until your refund arrives. Use the IRS’s online Tax Withholding Estimator tool to check your withholdings. To change them, submit a new Tooltip to your employer.
Be aware of tax rules and changes that might impact you
Tax laws are complex and change often, so it’s critical to stay up-to-date. One of the best ways to do that is to work with a tax pro who can help you spot issues and opportunities in time. In addition to federal taxes, your state and local government may have their own tax rules and deadlines. A local tax pro can help with those, too.
Gather your forms and documents well before Tax Day
Most employers, financial institutions, and schools start sending out tax forms (like W-2s, 1099s, and 1098-Es) in late January and February, or make them available online during that time. If you don’t have yours by the end of February, call the provider (your employer or other) to ask for a replacement.
File your return or an extension by the federal deadline
Don’t risk late penalties. If you’re waiting on forms or need more time, consider filing an extension. You’ll still need to pay any tax you owe by the IRS payment deadline, but you’ll have until October to file your return. For exact deadlines and special rules for military and international taxpayers, visit www.IRS.gov.
Tax law changes
Significant changes to the tax law, like those ushered in by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, happen from time to time. But changes in most years are more subtle—mainly consisting of minor adjustments to keep up with inflation. Still, even minor adjustments may have an impact on your tax and investment decisions.
Examples of changes to check for every year include updates to income tax brackets and rates, qualifying rules for deductions and credits, and contribution limits for tax-advantaged accounts, like your IRA, 401(k), or health savings account (HSA).