As you prepare 2019 tax returns, make changes to ensure refund next year

2019 tax returns: Make changes to ensure refund next year

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA/NBC) - Ready or not, it’s tax season, time to start gathering all of the necessary documents to file state and federal income tax returns.

Whether you’re expecting a refund this year or not, there are some actions to take now to ensure a refund next year.

“People got surprised by their refunds. They weren’t as big as they thought they were going to be,” H&R block Chief Tax Officer Kathy Pickering explained many people were disappointed with their refunds last year. That’s because they had not adjusted their withholdings in light of the federal tax cut act.

Pickering suggests considering what many people did last year, change your withholdings on your W-4 form, especially if you’re expecting big changes in 2020.

“Because things like, you know, having a baby or buying a house will change your tax situation," Pickering said, adding that the timing is right to adjust W-4s now because many are already preparing 2019 tax returns. "Your W-2's are coming in, in the mail. Maybe, you're starting to get some bank statements with that year-end tax information".

Pickering also urges taxpayers to gather documents and file quickly to help prevent hackers from filing a fake return.

The IRS officially opens the 2020 tax filing season and starts processing returns on Jan. 27th, but if you made $69,000 or less in 2019, you can go ahead and get your taxes done now with the IRS Free File Service (//IRS.gov/FreeFile). It offers free tax return preparation, free electronic filing and free direct deposit of your refund.

Alabama’s Department of Revenue is holding a free state tax seminar to help business owners better understand their state tax obligations and responsibilities. That seminar is set for Thursday, Jan. 23rd at 11 a.m. It will be held at the Montgomery Taxpayer Service Center located at 2545 Taylor Road. There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required.

You can reserve your spot here or call Kim Little at (334) 242-2679

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