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Saturday, August 13, 2011


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Daily Tax Tip

  • 8 costly tax breaks -- Congress is again wrangling over the federal budget. One way to save Uncle Sam some money is to eliminate costly, but popular, tax expenditures. These are losses to the U.S. Treasury from certain tax deductions, exemptions or credits to specific categories of taxpayers. Some benefit the wealthy; others offer tax help to others offer tax help to poorer filers. Regardless, these eight take a big bite out of Uncle Sam's bank balance. (March 30, 2015)

  • Tax Tip; click pencil for all tax tip links
  • Did you miss a daily tip posted above? No worries. They're collected
    in the 2015 Daily Tax Tips pages, one
    for each month of the filing season: January, February, March and, coming soon, April. And stay tuned for Weekly Tax Tips, coming after we survive the April 15 filing deadline!

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Counting Down to Tax Day

  • Tax filing day 2015 will be here before you know it, but our countdown clock to the 11:59 p.m. April 15 deadline will help make sure you don't miss it.

Time for Tax Tasks

  • monthly tax moves

  • March 1: It's March, the last full month of tax-filing season. Are you attacking your tax return like a lion? Or have the Internal Revenue Code's complexities turned you into a tax lamb?

    Lion and lamb; click image for the Farmer's Almanac take on this March saying

    Either way, you're at the right place.
    The following tax tips are for filers regardless of March animal avatars.

    March 2: Farmers and fishermen who didn't make their final estimated tax payment by Jan. 15 must file Form 1040 and pay any tax due today. The Internal Revenue Service suggests such filers check out the Direct Pay option.

    March 6: In addition to Direct Pay, the IRS also offers the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, or EFTPS. To use EFTPS you need to register, so get the process started now.

    March 10: Does your job include tips?

    Restaurant tip; click image for tipping guidelines

    If so and you received $20 in tips in February, use Form 4070 to report them today to your employer. And don't forget to include the value of atypical tips.

    March 16: Business filers generally beware the Ides of March because the 15th day of this month also is the corporate tax filing deadline, which can be dangerous to a company's bottom line. This year, however, the deadline day was on a Sunday, meaning that business taxpayers must file and pay any due tax by today.

    March 17: It's St. Patrick's Day! But don't trust lucky charms to get you through a tax audit. Be prepared by, among other things, making sure you have sufficient documentation for all your tax claims and hiring a tax pro with audit defense experience to guide you through the process.

    March 20: Spring has sprung! Not only is it time to finally welcome warmer weather, any spring cleaning also could pay off on your 2015 tax return. Get rid of all your unnecessary household items and clothes that no longer fit by donating them to your favorite nonprofit. You can claim the value as an itemized charitable deduction.

    March 25: If you celebrated your 70½ birthday last year (and who doesn't have parties for half birthdays?) and didn't take money out of your tax-deferred retirement accounts by the end of 2014, you must make a specified withdrawal by April 1. No joke. These required minimum distributions, or RMDs, are Uncle Sam's way of finally getting his piece of your traditional IRA, workplace 401(k) or self-employed retirement plan pie.

    March 31: You've put the finishing touches on your 1040 and are finally ready to file. Wait! Take one quick review of your forms to ensure you haven't overlooked any tax breaks or made any common tax mistakes. All's good? Then drop your return in the snail mail box or hit enter to e-file.

    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.

State Tax Help

  • Don't forget your state taxes!
    Forty-three states and D.C. collect personal income taxes. But even if you live in of the seven states without an income levy, you still face other state (and local) taxes.

    State Tax Departments provides links to your state's Web page. The companion page, Tax Tidbits, is the compilation of blurbs about each state's tax laws. And for more state tax news, check out all our state tax bloggings.


0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ...

  • Numbers

    Taxes are all about the numbers.
    Check out these (mostly) weekly
    By the Numbers figures.

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Keep Uncle Sam cranky!

  • It's no wonder Uncle Sam is not very happy here. His vault is empty. Don't Mess With Taxes aims to keep him cranky by providing tax and personal finance tips and advice that will put more money in your bank account, not the government treasury.

I gotta tell ya ...

  • AKA Disclaimer:
    I am a professional journalist who has been covering tax issues since 1999.
    I am not a professional tax preparer.
    The content on Don't Mess With Taxes is my personal opinion based on my study and understanding of tax laws, policies and regulations. It’s provided
    for your private, noncommercial, educational and informational purposes only. It’s not a recommendation of any specific tax action(s) you should take. Similarly, mentions of products or services are not endorsements. In other words, my ramblings on the ol' blog are free advice and you know what they say about getting what you pay for. That's why when it comes to filing your taxes, I urge you to get additional, professional, paid-for guidance from an accountant, Enrolled Agent or other qualified tax professional who is familiar with your individual tax circumstances.

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