Check your tax withholding now to avoid a surprise at tax time

IRS Issue Number: Tax Reform Tax Tip 2019-108                                              Taxpayers can follow these three steps to use new Tax Withholding Estimator

All taxpayers should use the new Tax Withholding Estimator to do a Paycheck Checkup. This tool helps people make sure their employers are taking out the right amount of tax from the employee’s paychecks. The money withheld from an employee’s paychecks throughout the year should cover the amount of tax they owe.

Taxpayers who haven’t yet checked their withholding can follow these simple steps for using the estimator. Results will include a recommendation of whether the taxpayer should consider submitting a new Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, to any of their employers.

Step 1: Gather documents.
Before beginning, taxpayers should have a copy of their most recent pay stub and tax return. Taxpayers should go to the main Tax Withholding Estimator page on Once there, they should carefully read all information and click the blue Tax Withholding Estimator button.

Step 2: Answer the questions.
Users will answer a series of questions about their specific tax situation. When they complete each section, they click the blue “Next” button that takes them to the next section.

Step 3: Review the results.
Taxpayers use the estimator’s results to determine if they need to complete a new Form W-4, which they submit to their employer, not to the IRS. The tool helps the user target a tax due amount close to zero or a refund amount.

 Tax Withholding Estimator.

Early filers with a tax bill have time to make a plan.

When you’re facing an income tax bill instead of a refund, it’s natural to put off filing as long as possible. But if you go ahead and fill out your tax forms and file them, you’ll know exactly how much you have to pay—and you won’t have to pay in full until the April filing deadline.
The more time you have to come up with the money, the less likely you are to bust your budget or drain your emergency fund. So, don’t spend the first part of the year with your head in the sand. Get the facts about what you owe, make your plan, and get that tax bill out of the way.

Tax Filing Season 2019

Tax Filing Season


IR-2019-01, January 7, 2019

The Internal Revenue Service will process tax returns beginning January 28, 2019 and provide refunds to taxpayers as scheduled.

The filing deadline to submit 2018 tax returns is Monday, April 15, 2019

Tax professionals will be accepting and preparing tax returns before Jan. 28 and then will submit the returns when the IRS systems open later this month.

Contact Deb at Balanced Book Taxes today to schedule your tax appointment.

Top 10 things to bring to your tax appointment

1. Prior year’s tax return

This is generally only needed if you are a new client. If so, bring your tax returns from the previous three years.

2. Personal and Dependent identification information

Bring social security numbers, ITINs, and dates of birth., driver’s license or state issued ID

3. Wage and Earning Statements

If you made money from it last year, you need to bring in a record of the income. This includes:

  • Form W-2, W-2G, and 1099-R, from all employers and payers.
  • Self-employed business income and expenses (Forms 1099-MISC and 1099K).
  • Records of job-related educational expenses and unreimbursed employment related expenses.
  • Interest and dividend statements.
  • Social Security, State Income Tax refund and Unemployment Compensation forms
  • Information on Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions.
  • Records of lottery or gambling winnings and losses.
  • Record of rental income and expenses.
  • Healthcare reimbursements
  • Jury duty records
  • Hobby income and expenses
  • Prizes and awards
  • Alimony received

4. Expense Records

Gather records for the following types of expenses.

  • Mortgage Interest Statement – Form 1098 (including home equity loans); and records of the purchase or sale of your residence.
  • Records of real estate and personal property taxes paid.
  • Records of state or local taxes paid (including sales tax for large purchases such as autos, boats, building products).
  • Records of medical, eye care and dental expenses and mileage.
  • Receipts for cash and non-cash charitable contributions.
  • Mileage records and expenses incurred conducting volunteer work for charitable organizations (Example: Driving the church youth group to an event.)
  • Tuition and Education Fees paid and Student Loan Interest paid
  • Records of moving expenses paid and any casualty or theft losses.
  • Total amount paid for a day care provider and the daycare provider’s tax identifying number – the provider’s Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number.
  • Alimony payments
  • Records of any qualified energy efficient home improvements purchases
  • Records of federal and state estimated taxes and foreign taxes paid.
  • Job hunting expenses

5. Health Insurance Documents

  • Health Insurance Marketplace Statement (Form 1095-A).
  • Health Coverage Statements from your Insurer or Employer (Form 1095-B/1095-C).

6. IRA Information

  • Amount contributed for 2016
  • Traditional IRA basis
  • Value of IRAs as of December 31 2016

7. Business Expense Receipts

  • Mileage
  • Meals and Lodging expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Records of educator expenses paid
  • Parking and tolls amounts
  • Office in home information

8. Bank Information

For those wanting direct deposit, please bring a voided check from your checking account  or if using your savings account bring the account and routing numbers.

9. If Your Were Affected by a Disaster

There are deductions that are applicable if you were affected by a federally declared disaster.

  • Records of property loss
  • Records of building/repair costs
  • Insurance reimbursement/claims to be paid
  • FEMA assistance information

10. Business Use of Home Information

If you use a part of your home for your business, bring the following:

  • Square footage calculation of the area used for business
  • The date you began using the space for business
  • Original purchase price paid for the property
  • Summary of your utility expenses (gas, electric, oil, condo fees, landscaping, snowplowing, maintenance, etc)
  • Major home improvements and direct office expenses (repairs, business phone, etc).