How in the heck did February already arrive? And now we're four days into the shortest month? What the…?!?
There's still time left in this shortest month to take care of important tax tasks. So let's take a quick look at some tax moves to make in February's remaining 28 days.
A lot of folks filed on Jan. 31 as soon as the Internal Revenue Service started accepting 2013 returns. But the rest of us are waiting, in part because we still don't have all the tax forms and statements we need to fill out our 1040s. But they should be in snail mail and email boxes soon.
Once your 2013 tax documents do arrive, double check them. If you find any errors, you have plenty of time to have the issuer correct it.
Shopping time: February brings us another federal holiday and three-day weekend. You know what that means: sales!
Sorry, U.S. presidents, this is indeed what we've come to here in the good old U.S. of A. But those ubiquitous Monday holiday sales also have tax implications.
If you hit the stores on Feb. 17, take note of the sales tax you pay. Yes, all good tax wonks know this itemized tax deduction expired at the end of 2013, but it could be back for 2014 when Congress finally gets around to considering an extenders package.
Meanwhile, sales taxes can still be claimed on your 2013 Schedule A. If you want to deduct that amount instead of state and local income taxes you paid last year (you have to choose one or the other), don't forget about any major purchases. If you bought a motor vehicle -- this includes a car, truck, motorcycle, RV, boat or airplane -- the sales tax you forked over for that purchase could add to the average sakes tax amount in the IRS-provided tables for each state.
Tax love is in the air: But the most popular February holiday is, of course, Valentine's Day. And we all know that love and taxes are inseparable.
Same-sex married couples will be filing federal returns jointly (or as married filing separately) for the first time. Sure, some married couples regardless of sexual preference might face the marriage tax penalty; this tends to happen when both spouses make around the same, higher-income tax bracket amounts.
But in most cases a joint filing will produce a better tax result for couples. Plus, there are a lot of tax breaks that aren't available to married filers who opt for separate returns.
Show me my tax money: And if you have already filed your taxes, it's probably because you're getting a refund. February is the month when you can start checking the IRS' online tracking tool to find out exactly Where's My Refund?
These are just a few of the many tax things to think about this month. You can find more in in the February Tax Moves listed over in the ol' blog's right column, starting under the red tax deadline day countdown clock.
Just scroll down a bit and make this shortest month come up big for you this tax season.