Check your paychecks now to avoid tax surprises in 2019

SAN ANTONIO – Payroll experts are warning people to take a good look at their own paychecks to avoid a big tax surprise next year.

"A lot of employees don't think about that in September. But they definitely need to look at it now in order to ensure they won't have that surprise when they file next year," said Emma Jackson, government liaison for the Alamo Chapter of the American Payroll Association.

Jackson said the tax law changes in 2017 may creep up on some employees, especially those that saw a larger net pay.

"They potentially may have a tax surprise," Jackson said. "That's because the withholding throughout 2018 was lowered. So when they file in the spring of 2019, they can potentially see a lesser refund, no refund or have to pay."

Jackson said the IRS wants employees to look at their paychecks to ensure that the withholding is correct. They can do this check by going online and using the IRS withholding calculator. All you need is your most recent paycheck and tax return.

"It will tell them whether or not they need to have more withheld from their check or if they're going to be OK as they file in 2019," Jackson said.

Once you get the results from the IRS Withholding Calculator, if you need to have more withheld, you will need to complete a W-4 form.

"They can do it on paper or they can do it online, whichever your payroll department requires," Jackson said. "But you want to do that as soon as possible so you can start having that extra money withheld."

Everyone's check is important to them, and to recognize those payroll professionals for the job they do in ensuring that checks are on time and accurate, the American Payroll Association is sponsoring National Payroll Week Sept. 3-7.

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