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Saturday, January 18, 2014

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Weekly Tax Tip

  • Filed for an extension? Didn't file
    at all? Now what?
    -- April 15 came
    and went without your tax return. Either you filed Form 4868 instead to get an extension until Oct. 15 to finish your paperwork or you didn't file at all. Whichever option you chose on
    Tax Day, here's what you need to do next to avoid invoking the ire (and potentially costly penalties and interest charges) of the Internal Revenue Service. (April 17, 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

  • April 1: Today is April Fool's Day, but don't you be a tax fool.

    April Fools Day jack in the box drawing; click image for more on this holiday

    If you got or expecting a big refund, or ended up owing a lot, then now's the time to adjust your payroll withholding.

    April 6: It's a bit late in the filing season to hire a tax professional, but you still might be able to get some free face-to-face tax help through such programs as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). The Internal Revenue Service also is offering appointments at some of its Taxpayer Assistance Centers.

    April 10: Yes, Tax Day is just around the corner, but you still have to take care of other tax tasks. If your job includes tips and you received $20 in tips in March, use Form 4070 to report them today to your employer.

    April 11-12: This last weekend before your 1040 is due doesn't have to be a lost weekend. Don't get in such a rush that you make mistakes or overlook tax breaks.

    April 15: This is it! Tax Day 2015.

    April 15 calendar page; click image to go to IRS website

    There are lots of tax tasks to take care of today, so let's get to them.

    Your 2014 personal income tax return is due today, either by sending it electronically or getting it to the post office so it can be postmarked by midnight, local time. And don't forget about Free File.

    IRS Free File; click image for details

    The IRS partnership with more than a dozen tax software manufacturers is open for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $60,000 or less not only through today's deadline, but also through the Oct. 15 filing extension.

    Speaking of extensions, if you just can't complete your forms today, file Form 4868 to get an automatic six-month extension. But be sure to pay any tax you owe. It's an extension to file, not an extension to pay.

    If you didn't file a return in 2011, you could be missing out on your part of almost $1 billion in tax refunds that were never claimed. Today also is the last day you can file that old return and get your refund from that tax year.

    Today is the last chance to make a 2014 contribution to your IRA, either Roth or traditional accounts.

    If you make estimated tax payments then your 2015 first-quarter 1040-ES voucher for is due today.

    And don't forget your state taxes. Most states with income taxes follow the federal filing deadline.

    April 21: Now that filing is done (except for us procrastinating filing extenders), take some time to store your tax records. You need to hang onto some filing paperwork just in case the IRS has follow-up questions.

    April 28: Were you one of those organized folks who filed earlier but are still waiting for your refund? Track it down with the IRS' online refund locator.

    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.

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  • 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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