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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


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Weekly Tax Tip

  • FSAs can save tax dollars -- Popular workplace spending accounts can help pay child care and medical costs. They also can save you tax money if you manage them carefully. (Sept. 30, 2015)

  • Tax Tip; click pencil for all tax tip links

  • Check out all the latest post-April 15 advice at Weekly Tax Tips 2015.

    You also can get a refresher of the Daily Tax Tips posted earlier this year on their respective filing season monthly pages: January, February, March and April.

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Counting Down to Tax Day

  • Did you get an extension on April 15
    to file your tax return?
    You are not alone.
    Our countdown clock will make sure that all of us still working
    on our tax returns don't miss
    the Oct. 15 extended deadline.

Time for Tax Tasks

  • monthly tax moves

  • Oct. 1: Uncle Sam's 2016 fiscal year begins today and the news, for now, is good. Congress agreed on a short-term financing plan to keep the federal government operating. The House and Senate have until Dec. 11 to finalize funding for the remainder of FY16.

    Open sign

    Oct. 5: Since we don't have to worry, for a while, about Uncle Sam's status, we can focus on our own finances, specifically filing our tax returns by the Oct. 15 extension due date. Don't worry, we'll remind you of the deadline again as it gets even closer. And yes, I'm one of the millions who asked for and taking full advantage of the extra six month.

    Dig out all those tax documents you need to file your 2014 return. This includes your W-2 (or W-2s if you had multiple jobs), as well as 1099s for contract payments or investment income. You'll also need the supporting material, such as receipts for charitable donations and business expenses, along with the other items listed on this tax preparation checklist.

    Oct. 9: Don't let this last weekend before your tax return is due turn into a lost weekend. Check out these tax sins of commission, aka common filing mistakes, so you don't make them. And definitely don't make these tax sins of omission, aka overlooked tax breaks, that could reduce your final IRS bill.

    Oct. 13: 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.

    Oct. 15: Hey, tax procrastinators, here's that reminder I promised. Your filing time is up! Get your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ en route to the IRS by midnight today or you'll face penalty and interest charges.

    If you're sending in an old-fashioned paper return, get the envelope postmarked today. Or e-file by midnight. Remember, if your adjusted gross income was $60,000 or less last year, you still can use the IRS' Free File program.

    Oct. 16: Now that your 2014 return is finally done, get to work reducing your 2015 tax bill. If you itemize, remember that in a couple of instances your costs must exceed a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income before they are worthwhile. For miscellaneous write-offs, it's 2 percent; for medical and dental expenses, the threshold for most filers is 10 percent of your AGI. To get over both of these deduction hurdles, set up a bunching strategy now.

    Oct. 21: As the weather cools, the risk of hurricanes drops. But you can't yet completely dismiss the possibility of a tropical system; just look at Hurricane Joaquin. The Atlantic hurricane season officially runs through November.

    It's always better to be safe than sorry when we're talking Mother Nature. 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.

    Oct. 26: When you did file your tax return, did you get a big refund or owe the IRS a lot? Either one is an indicator that you should adjust your payroll withholding. Your goal is to pay as close to your final tax bill as possible.

    Oct. 31: Beware Halloween's goblins and ghouls tonight!

    Halloween and fall meet photo by Kay Bell

    But you don't have to be afraid of taxes. There are plenty of easy ways to deal with any tax terrors you might have.

    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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Kudos Et Cetera

  • Association for Women 2014 Clarion Award Winner
    National Association
    for Women in Communications
    Best Personal Blog, 2014

  • Plutus Award 2013 Award Winner
    Plutus Financial Bloggers Awards
    Best Tax Blog, 2013

  • Association for Women 2012 Clarion Award Winner
    National Association
    for Women in Communications
    Best Personal Blog, 2012

  • Plutus Award Winner
    Plutus Financial Bloggers Awards
    Best Tax Blog, 2011

  • Alltop

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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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.

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