The Internal Revenue Service is urging taxpayers to act now to avoid a tax-time surprise and ensure smooth processing of their 2019 federal tax return.

“Spare a few minutes to get ready for doing your taxes next year,” said Michael Devine with the IRS. “December 31st is the date that almost everything to do with your taxes has to be done. If you’re going to make charitable contributions, if you’re going to pay additional bills, maybe more on your mortgage, things that you can deduct, those all have to be made during 2019, so December 31st is the date.”

It’s also a good idea to check how much is being taken out of your paycheck.

“People that got a smaller refund than they expected, people that got an unexpected tax bill, anyone who had a life event like getting married or divorced or adding a member of the family,” said Devine. “You need to go in and just check again.”

Also, realize that the IRS is going to want paperwork for anything you deduct.

“This is the time you need to think about, are you going to have all of the documents you need?” asked Devine. “Did you move? If you changed your address, make sure that all of your employers know the new address, that any banks or credit unions or financial institutions know the right address to mail those documents to, unless you’re getting them electronically.”

Taxpayers who receive a substantial amount of non-wage income should make quarterly estimated tax payments. The last payment of those for 2019 is due January 15, 2020.