Hello November! We're thrilled you're here. Thanksgiving is a great holiday. But the only bird you want is the nicely browned
one on your dinner table later this month.
To ensure that's the case, it's time to make some moves to avoid tax turkeys that could cost you on your 2014 return. Nov. 4:
On this election day, voters will have a major voice in more than just electing candidates for local, state and federal offices. Citizens nationwide will have a say on 146 ballot questions
. In 11 states, 20 tax-related initiatives
are on the ballots. Be sure to vote! Nov. 7:
Looking for or already landed a seasonal job to bring in much-needed income or to earn some extra money for gift buying? Pay attention to how you're paid. Whether you're an independent contractor or an employee will make a difference in your taxes. As a contractor, you're responsible for paying self-employment taxes
, as well as the income taxes that are usually withheld from employees' paychecks. Nov. 10:
Does your job include tips
? If so and you received $20 in tips in September, use Form 4070
to report them today to your employer. And don't forget to include the value of atypical tips
Does it look like you'll get a big refund next filing season? Or, yikes!, end up owing Uncle Sam a lot on April 15? Either way, adjust your withholding
now. The payroll changes in these last few checks of 2014 can help make sure that you more closely pay the income taxes you'll owe the Internal Revenue Service when you fill out your tax return next spring. Nov. 19:
Analyze your portfolio. Roughly calculate your stock profits and losses so far this year so that you can do some tax planning before Dec. 31. If you have gains, they are taxed at rates generally lower than ordinary income; for some taxpayers, the capital gains rate is zero
But even losses
could be tax winners. They can help offset any gains to reduce your potential overall tax bill. And if you have more losses than gain, you can deduct up to $3,000 a year against your ordinary income until you use up those losses.
P.S. -- If you have that much in losses to keep carrying forward, get a new investment adviser! Nov. 26:
If you're heading over the river and through the woods to grandma's for Thanksgiving, your travel costs are all your own.
But if you're doing some business traveling this holiday week or any other time of the year, document
it so you can deduct those costs. For business driving, you can claim either the actual miles you drive or take the standard mileage deduction
Happy Thanksgiving! Take a break from taxes for turkey, football
, and time with your family. Nov. 30:
The Atlantic hurricane season officially ends today.
If you're not already prepared, get that way. The ol' blog's special Natural Disasters Resources
page can help with preparation, recovery and ways to help others who sustain storm damages. Small Business Tax Calendar:
Important filing, deposit and record keeping dates
throughout the year that your company needs to know. You also can view the full year's important business tax dates in IRS Pub. 509