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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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Tim

It looks like the Office of Government Ethics was too small to make your list above, but I think their 7.69% delinquency rate has to rate among the most ironic.

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Weekly Tax Tip

  • Summer 2014 sales tax holidays -- It's time for a summer perennial, the back-to-school sales-tax holidays. But in many of the 17, states holding tax-free events this year, the savings go beyond classroom items. The first holiday started July 25 in Mississippi. The bulk of the tax holidays are the first weekend in August. The summer events wrap up in mid-August. So make your shopping lists and be sure to double check your state's guidelines on what's nontaxable and when tax is still collected during your tax holiday. (July 23, 2014)

  • Tax Tip; click pencil for all tax tip links

    Check out all the latest post-April 15 advice at Weekly Tax Tips 2014.

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

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Counting Down to Tax Day

Time for Tax Tasks


  • monthly tax moves

  • Aug. 1: 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.

    dancing dogClick 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.

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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  • 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 or endorsement of any company or product. In other words, specifically the words in Treasury Circular 230 Notice, any U.S. tax advice on this blog is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed on this blog. 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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