Follow these year-end tax tips so you don't get caught short of cash during the holiday season or later at tax time.
Stop, take a deep breath and wait for a warning from the Internal Revenue Service before you pull out that plastic to jump on yet another holiday deal on a TV, toys or a smartphone.
Will you really have all the money you need by January or February to cover all those holiday bills? Not necessarily, if you're banking on a big income tax refund in early 2020.
The IRS put taxpayers on notice in late November that they shouldn't "rely on receiving their refund by a certain date, especially when making major purchases or paying bills."
It's likely that the earliest you could be able to file your 2019 income tax return would be in late January. The kickoff date was Jan. 28, 2019, for the 2018 federal income tax returns.
Typically, it can take up to 21 days to receive a federal income tax refund.
But people who are already on tight budgets may need to wait longer if they're claiming the earned income tax credit or the additional child tax credit.