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3 Ways to Get Ready Now for Tax Season

What is tax preparation, exactly? Most of the job is making sure you have the right documents on hand. For most of us, the transition from the holiday season to tracking down paperwork and trying to navigate filing taxes can feel a little overwhelming. Fortunately, taking a few simple steps now can help save you from a lot of headaches down the road.

Woman with calculator and papers at home.

Watch Your Inbox and Your Mailbox

As you might have guessed, this is the biggest step to take when you prepare for tax season. Many employers and financial institutions begin to send year-end statement notifications via email in early to mid-January, with mailed documents being sent no later than January 31. While this can make filing and record maintenance a little easier, it also has the potential for fraud.

Electronic communications like emails and websites can be easy to fraudulently recreate, so be sure to scrutinize any emails you get that claim to be from your bank, credit card provider, or government agency. The IRS's website offers tips about watching for fraud during tax season.

Gather and Organize Your Receipts and Other Documents

For most people, doing your taxes means keeping track of a lot of paper. Rather than waiting until tax time to get everything together, keep a folder or a shoe box in a safe spot in your home. Then, when you have a document or receipt you know you'll need when the time comes, put it where it belongs in that safe spot. That way, everything will be ready and waiting for you.

If digital storing is more your style, simply scan and save as you go. We recommend saving to a cloud-based system, just in case something happens to your computer.

Review Tax Changes

No year is exactly the same as the last. Before you start filing, be sure to check out which tax cuts have expired and if there are any new cuts that your household could qualify for. Check out the IRS's website for the most up-to-date information.

Now that you're ready, do you have a plan for any refund you might receive? Check out What to Do With This Year's Tax Refund for ideas!

Want Help Managing Your Money in the New Year?

We're here for you! No question is too small, and with WaFd Bank, you also have access to tools and services to help you manage your finances and get the most from your money. Visit us at your neighborhood branch, give us a call at 800-324-9375, or check out what WaFd online banking has to offer.


Find your local WaFd Bank Branch


Find your local WaFd Bank Branch

We're nearby, and we'll sit down with you and answer any questions you may have.