Begin taking steps now to ensure smooth processing of your 2016 federal tax return next year.
Be sure to make a copy of your 2015 tax return and keep it and all supporting documents for a minimum of three years. Doing so will make it easier to fill out a return next year. In addition, you may need the adjusted gross income amount from your 2015 return to properly e-file your 2016 return.
Check your withholding. This is especially important if you received a large refund or owed a larger than expected amount of tax this year. You can reduce a large refund amount and boost your take-home pay now by claiming additional withholding allowances on the Form W-4 and give it to your employer. If you owed tax, you can have additional tax withheld or make quarterly estimated tax payments to the IRS. For help, use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov.
You should not count on getting a refund by a certain date next year, especially when making major purchases or paying other financial obligations. Though the IRS issues most refunds in less than 21 days, some returns are held for further review. In addition, starting next year, some people will get their refunds a little later. A recent tax law requires the IRS to hold the refund for any tax return claiming either the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until February 15. By law, the IRS must hold the entire refund, not just the portion related to the EITC or ACTC. Starting February 15, the best way to check the status of a refund is with the Where’s My Refund? tool on IRS.gov or the IRS2Go Mobile App.