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      Money Watchers: Take steps now to make filing your taxes easier

      More than 147 million Americans filed taxes last year.

      The number of Americans filing this year will be something like that again, and in the midst of shopping and parties, there are some things to do now to make the tax filing easier.

      "Now is a good time to start getting your records together. You're going to be getting a lot of documents when you go to file your returns," said Peggy Riley, spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service.

      Riley said more than 120 million filed their taxes through Internet services, and that the IRS website can offer a lot of answers, including helping you through your own tax return.

      "(The website) is going to lead you through and ask you for deductions that you might qualify for just based on the information that you're inputting at the beginning," she said.

      The website has other features too, as well as a way to see if your refund is almost there.

      "You can check on the refund after you file, whether the return has been received, if it's been processed, and when to expect your money," Riley said.

      But as 2013 comes to a close, there are a few steps you may want to consider.

      "If you want to make a contribution to your IRA, you still have time for that. If you want to make some charitable organizations over the month, you want to make sure you hold onto those receipts as well," Riley said.

      Riley said to also keep track of your W-2 forms and interest statements that will soon be showing up in the mail.