Get ready for 2021 tax season now

Most of us do not want to think about our taxes for 2021 just yet, but you probably should.

The reason to get started now is COVID-19. The pandemic delayed filing this year and if you aren't careful the pandemic could impact when you file in 2021.

The big concern will be where, when and how you will be able to meet with a CPA or tax preparer.

In the past you could walk into dozens of places with no problem, but now with social distancing and occupancy restrictions, just getting in front of a tax professional may be very difficult.

That means you really need to have your paperwork in order and ready to go, and now is a good time to start planning for that.

If you received unemployment checks, you will have to claim that income. The same goes for any self-employment options you picked up, like driving for Uber. Start getting those receipts and expenses in order now.

"The sooner you start getting organized, the better. I think we could have some additional challenges with tax preparers either working remotely or if you go to a walk-in place, it is very likely they are not going to let people stack and pack in the waiting rooms, and it might be harder to get in there," said Michelle Mullin with Briggs and Veselka.

You can find out if your W-2 is withholding too much or too little and make changes. If you have a couple of paychecks still headed your way in December, making a change to your W-2 could offset a large tax bill in 2021. Or maybe you'll find too much has already been taken out and give yourself extra money by reducing withholdings.

Check the IRS tax withholding estimator for guidance.

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