The arrival of March means we've got six short weeks until the April 15 filing deadline.
The March 2015 Daily Tax Tips will help you meet that due date regardless of whether you attack your taxes like a lion or put them off because you're the timidest of tax lambs.
Regardless of your traditional March animal persona, you'll also find this month some advice on how to make your 2015 filing less taxing, too.
As with the January and February tax tips, you'll find a new piece of tax advice featured each March weekday in the upper right corner of the the ol' blog.
Also like the last two months, March's daily tips will be collected on this special page in case you miss a daily posting or simply want a filing refresher.
So with the 2015 tax season winding down, let's not waste any more tax filing and/or planning time.
- Determining your tax dependents -- Taking care of someone is expensive. But if those folks qualify as tax dependents, they could help save a bit of money on your taxes. Dependents typically are minor children, but they also could be your aging parents or even that deadbeat girl- or boyfriend who's been living with you. (March 2, 2015)
- Child and dependent care credit -- Working? Have kids? Uncle Sam can help families cover some child care costs. (March 3, 2015)
- Hobby or business? -- If you're earning regular money on your recreational pursuit, you might save some tax money by turning it into a job. (March 4, 2015)
- Simpler home office deduction for some workers -- Working from home is great. Getting a tax break for your home office is even better. What's not so good is the hassle of filling out the deduction claim form. But if you don't have a lot of home office expenses, the Internal Revenue Service offers an alternate, simplified way to claim home office costs. (March 5, 2015)
- Avoid these 10 common tax mistakes -- Thanks to tax preparation software, we're making fewer filing mistakes. But just one slip up, either via computer submission or a hand-completed 1040, could be costly. So watch out for these 10 common tax errors. (March 6, 2015)
- The many capital gains tax rates -- Some tax reformers want to eliminate capital gains taxes. Until that happens, here's a look at the many capital gains taxes that are in the Internal Revenue Code in addition to the popular long-term lower rates of 15 percent and 20 percent enjoyed by most investors. (March 9, 2015)
- Tax benefits of capital losses -- When it comes to bad assets, be sure to take tax advantage of capital losses. They can eliminate any taxable capital gains you might have. If you have more losses than gains, you can use up to $3,000 to offset ordinary income. Then be sure to get a new investment manager! (March 10, 2015)
- Writing off worthless stock -- Investing in stocks can be good or not so good. But when a holding totally tanks, there is some tax help. You can write off the bad asset as worthless. (March 11, 2015)
- Reporting your investment income -- The Internal Revenue Service is copied on your investment earnings. That's why it's critical to properly report and figure your taxes on this unearned income. (March 12, 2015)
- Watch out for these 5 terrible tax surprises -- No one likes surprises at tax time, especially when they could cost you money. Don't let these five -- alimony, unemployment payments, forgiven debt, prize winnings some Social Security benefits --sneak up on you. (March 13, 2015)
- Alternative Minimum Tax issues -- Inflation indexing has eased a major Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) problem. But if you're still subject to AMT, here are the rules for this potentially costly parallel tax. (March 16, 2015)
- Education tax credits -- College costs go up every year. The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits offer many students and their parents tax help meeting education expenses. (March 17, 2015)
- Maximizing medical deductions -- To claim itemized medical deductions your expenses must be more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. Age note: if you're 65 or older, the 7.5 percent threshold still applies through 2016. Here are some ways to clear that hurdle. (March 18, 2015)
- Tax break bait and switch -- There are lots of tax breaks out there, but some are not quite as easy to claim as they first sound. When you get the full story, you might just find they do you little or no tax-saving good at all. From gambling losses to charitable donations to medical costs, check out some tax breaks that aren't always as advertised. (March 19, 2015)
- Obamacare tax forms -- Almost all taxpayers must deal with Affordable Care Act provisions for the first time this filing season. For most filers, it's simply a new line on their 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ form. For others, it means new informational statements, more paperwork to fill out and added calculations. (March 20, 2015)
- A dozen small business tax deductions -- If your business is booming, you'll want to check out these 12 deductions that could help reduce what you'll owe the Internal Revenue Service. (March 23, 2015)
- Don't you dare deduct these expenses! -- Deductions are a good way to reduce your eventual Internal Revenue Service bill. But while there are lots of thing you can write off on your tax return, don't go overboard. These 10 instances are not good deduction options. (March 24, 2015)
- Unemployment and taxes -- If you're out of work, you still could face tax issues. Some tax laws, such as deductible job search expenses, might help ease an out-of-work patch. Others, however, could cost you. (March 25, 2015)
- Rich? Watch out for these 5 taxes -- It's not a good time to make big bucks when it comes to taxes. Wealthy taxpayers now face several higher taxes thanks to recent tax law changes. (March 26, 2015)
- Retirement plan distribution deadline nears -- Retirement plan distribution deadline nears -- Mandatory withdrawals, known as required minimum distributions or RMDs, must be made from IRAs and other deferred-tax retirement plans by April 1. No joke. This deadline applies to first-year RMD recipients; that's folks who turned 70½ the year before. Another RMD will be due, however, for the current tax year by Dec. 31. (March 27, 2015)
- 8 costly tax breaks -- Congress is again wrangling over the federal budget. One way to save Uncle Sam some money is to eliminate costly, but popular, tax expenditures. These are losses to the U.S. Treasury from certain tax deductions, exemptions or credits to specific categories of taxpayers. Some benefit the wealthy; others offer tax help to poorer filers. Regardless, these eight take a big bite out of Uncle Sam's bank balance. (March 30, 2015)
- Roth vs. traditional IRA -- Both Roth and traditional IRAs offer some type of tax savings. And you have until April 15 to open and/or contribute to them for the prior tax year. But which type of IRA to choose? Roth IRAs offer a good way to put away money tax-free for retirement. Traditional IRAs could provide some folks with an immediate tax deduction. These additional details, comparisons and IRA picking tips can help you decide. (March 31, 2015)
Can't get enough tax tips? Then also check out:
You'll also find more tax news and advice at Bankrate's Tax Guide, as well as here at Don't Mess With Taxes blog posts and ever-growing collection of year-round tax tips and money moves.