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Monday, June 23, 2014

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Weekly Tax Tip

  • Tax help for combined business, personal travel -- Thinking of tacking
    a couple of personal days onto the end of a business trip? It can offer a nice break. Plus, a well-planned mini-vacation can be even more satisfying when you get financial help via the federal tax code. (Sept. 2, 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


  • Sept. 1: School is back in session.
    Yes, those are the cries of joy from parents nationwide that you hear.

    If your children are in college, do your homework to determine whether you (or your student) should claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit.

    If your youngsters are younger, now's also the time to prepare for their higher education. Stash money to pay for future college costs in a 529 plan or Coverdell Education Account. The nice thing about a Coverdell is that you can use that money for some pre-college costs, too.

    Sept. 7: Happy Labor Day! This celebration of workers' social and economic contributions to the country is a federal holiday.

    Labor Day red white and blue graphic

    In most employment situations, the workers are employees. Sometimes though folks are hired as contractors. The difference between a contractor and an employee matters not only to businesses that hire the workers, but also to the worker. There are different tax considerations as an independent contractor.

    Sept. 10: Does your job include tips? If so and you received $20 in tips in August, use Form 4070 to report them today to your employer.

    Sept. 11: Today is Patriot Day, the annual observance to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

    On this annual National Day of Service and Remembrance, you can find charitable remembrance activities in your area through the National Corporation for Community Service, which grew out of the many commemorations of the 9/11 victims. You also can contribute to the nonprofit of your choice, either one that assists victims or in the name of someone you wish to honor.

    United We Serve
    Click image to visit
    the Community Service
    Facebook page.

    While your volunteer work is not tax deductible, you might be able to deduct your donation of cash or goods if you itemize.

    Sept. 13: Happy Grandparents' Day!
    If you're an older grandma or grandpa, pay attention to your overall earnings. The retirement supplement could cause your Social Security benefits to be taxed.

    If you're helping out an older parent, keep good track of all your financial contributions. You might be able to claim Mom and/or Dad as a tax dependent.

    Sept. 15: It's estimated tax time again. Your third voucher for the 2015 tax year is due today.

    Sept. 23: Fall officially arrives today with the autumnal equinox at 4:22 a.m. Eastern Time. If you haven't already, it's time to get you house is ready for the coming colder weather.

    Folks who got an extension to file their 2014 returns might be able to claim a tax credit for energy efficient upgrades, which was extended through 2014 and might be back on the books as part of the tax extenders for the 2015 tax year.

    Tax credit aside, you also can make home improvements that could pay off later on your taxes.

    Sept. 30: September is usually the busiest month of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30.



    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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  • 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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