If you were hit with a large tax bill, or any tax bill, for 2018, and you’re still smarting, start planning for 2019.
You might want or need to adjust your tax withholding, but there’s still time to make those changes for this year, even though we’re three months into the year.
“It’s too late for 2018,” says Raphael Tulino, an Internal Revenue Service spokesman. “For 2019, going forward, while taxes are on your mind, do some tax planning so you don’t have the surprise in 2020.”
Because the 2018 tax year was the first affected by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, figuring out the correct withholding for your salaried income, your quarterly estimated tax payments or a combination of the two was sometimes difficult.
Whether you handle your taxes yourself or pay a tax preparer, it’s worth taking a close look at the amount of withholding for 2019 so you aren’t stuck paying more when you file next year.
The IRS will sponsor free webinars on Thursday, March 28 — one in English, one in Spanish — to help taxpayers who want to check their withholding for 2019. The webinar in Spanish begins at 11 a.m. ET; in English, at 2 p.m. ET. To register in Spanish, go to Spanish webinar; in English, go to English webinar.
The information is designed to help people complete a "paycheck checkup." That means checking tax withholding by using the IRS Withholding Calculator and making changes so that more funds are withheld from your regular paycheck — or less are withheld if you prefer.
It’s an effort to help taxpayers “bring the taxes we pay close to what we owe” for each individual situation, Tulino says.
Each of the 60-minute webinars will include a Q-and-A session. Topics to be covered include the basics of using the online IRS Withholding Calculator as well as situations that might require taxpayers to adjust their withholdings. These might apply if you:
- Received a large tax refund or tax bill for 2018.
- Face a major life change such as marriage or divorce.
- Are now in a two-income family.
- Have two or more jobs simultaneously or work seasonally.
- Itemized deductions in the past.
- Have a high income or a complex tax return.