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Get Ready – 4 Steps to Follow

1 - Gather and organize your tax records Goes Here

Organized tax records make preparing a complete and accurate tax return easier. It helps you avoid errors that lead to processing delays that slow your refund and may also help you find overlooked deductions or credits.

Wait to file until you have your tax records including:

Forms W-2 from your employer(s)
Forms 1099 from banks, issuing agencies and other payers including unemployment compensation, dividends, distributions from a pension, annuity or retirement plan
Form 1099-K, 1099-MISC, W-2 or other income statement if you worked in the gig economy
Form 1099-INT if you were paid interest
Other income documents and records of virtual currency transactions
Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, to reconcile advance Premium Tax Credits for Marketplace coverage
Letter 6419, 2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit Payments to reconcile your advance Child Tax Credit payments
Letter 6475, Your 2021 Economic Impact Payment, to determine whether you’re eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit
Notify the IRS if your address changes and notify the Social Security Administration of a legal name change.

Remember, most income is taxable. This includes:

unemployment income,
refund interest,
income from the gig economy, and
virtual currencies.

2- Check your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)

An ITIN only needs to be renewed if it has expired and is needed on a U.S. federal tax return.

If your ITIN wasn’t included on a U.S. federal tax return at least once for tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020, your ITIN will expire on December 31, 2021.

As a reminder, ITINs with middle digits 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, or 88 have expired. In addition, ITINs with middle digits 90, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, or 99, IF assigned before 2013, have expired. If you previously submitted a renewal application and it was approved, you do not need to renew again.

3- Make sure you've withheld enough tax

Consider adjusting your withholding if you owed taxes or received a large refund last year. Changing your withholding can help you avoid a tax bill or let you keep more money each payday. Life changes – getting married or divorced, welcoming a child, or taking on a second job – may also mean changing withholding.

Use the Tax Withholding Estimator to help you determine the right amount of tax to have withheld from your paycheck. This tool on IRS.gov will help determine if you need to adjust your withholding and submit a new Form W-4 to your employer.

Consider estimated tax payments. If you receive a substantial amount of non-wage income like self-employment income, investment income, taxable Social Security benefits and in some instances, pension and annuity income you should make quarterly estimated tax payments, with the last payment for 2021 due on January 18, 2022.

Log in to your online account to make a payment online or go to IRS.gov/payments.

4- Get banked to speed tax refunds with direct deposit

The fastest way for you to get your tax refund is by filing electronically and choosing direct deposit.

Direct deposit gives you access to your refund faster than a paper check. Don’t have a bank account? Learn how to open an account at an FDIC-Insured bank or through the National Credit Union Locator Tool.

If you are a Veteran, see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.

Eight out of 10 taxpayers get their refunds by using direct deposit. The IRS uses the same electronic transfer system to deposit tax refunds that is used by other federal agencies to deposit nearly 98% of all Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits into millions of accounts.

Direct deposit also avoids the possibility that a refund check could be lost or stolen or returned to the IRS as undeliverable. And it saves taxpayer money. It costs more than $1 for every paper refund issued, but only a dime for each direct deposit.

Information provided by: IRS.GOV