The Dog Days
of Summer are here. You might not be as happy about that as the little dancing dog below is, but you should be happy about some steps you can take in August to reduce your tax bill. Click image
for more dancing dogs.Aug. 2:
This weekend, 12 states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia -- hold sales tax holidays
Although they are popularly called back-to-school shopping events, most states offer tax-free savings on non-classroom goods. You might be able to save some dollars, but don't waste them by buying products you don't need
or that aren't tax-exempt. Aug. 8:
Texas' sales tax holiday weekend starts today and runs through Aug. 10. Aug. 10:
Maryland's sales tax holiday week starts today and runs through Aug. 16. Aug. 11:
Does your job include tips
? If so and you received $20 in tips in July, use Form 4070
to report them today to your employer. Aug. 16:
Massachusetss' sales tax holiday starts today and runs through Aug. 17. Aug. 17:
Connecticut wraps up the 2014 back-to-school sales tax holiday season with its week-long event that starts today and runs through Aug. 23. Aug. 21:
Now that you're done with tax holiday shopping, it's time to assess how your summer's been going. Temperature-wise, it's been relatively mild here in Texas -- I just jinxed the state! -- but some folks are still trying to cope with 90-degree temperatures without air conditioning.
It's probably the same in your state, so look into helping other folks
who are still sweating out the summer. Many charitable groups provide energy assistance to low-income individuals, either by helping them pay their utility bills or by supplying them with fans.
If you itemize, your donation could be tax deductible
. Aug. 25:
You bought the home of your dreams this summer. Even better, the move to your new abode was job related or you found employment soon after you settled in. That means you might be able to deduct your relocation expenses
on your tax return.Aug. 28:
When you were house hunting, you probably looked closely at your new home's school district. You also need to make some moves for your child's higher education. If your son or daughter are still young, you can stash money to pay for future college costs in a 529 plan
or Coverdell Education Account.
And if the first semester at State U. is on the imminent horizon, the Internal Revenue Service can help you fill out the FAFSA
, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid that's required for such financial aid. Aug. 31:
It's been a quiet Atlantic hurricane season so far, with only Hurricane Arthur
posing any U.S. threat through July.
But things typically heat up tropically as summer winds down. And remember, the storm season runs through the end of November.
If you haven't yet made your storm and financial preparations for any type of disaster
, do so now. The ol' blog's special Natural Disasters Resources
blog page can help.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