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4 tax moves to make in September 2017

I don’t know about you, but I am glad to see August gone! It was a horrible, awful, no-good month for too many of my fellow Texans.

We're counting on you, September, with your promise of cooler temperatures and return of routines, like the kiddos' going back to class, to get us to a better place.

Leaf seasonal progression (2)

Among the things to think about as fall nears is, of course, taxes.

Here are four quick tax tasks to consider this month.

File your 2016 taxes: For the first time in years, I'm heading into fall with my prior year return already in the Internal Revenue Service's hands. Millions of other taxpayers who got extensions, whoever, have yet to file their 2016. Yes, you have until Oct. 16 this year (the 15th is on Sunday) to send in your 1040.

But why wait? Getting that annoying paperwork out of the way is a key goal. Plus, there are other reasons, three to be exact, as to why you should file your extended tax return before the ultimate deadline.

Make your third estimated tax payment: One tax-due date has not changed. The IRS wants your third estimated tax payment for the 2017 tax year by Sept. 15.

If you've already been making estimated tax payments this year, you're already familiar with the four 1040-ES due dates and the income periods they cover.

But if it's a new tax task for you, the table below has the details, as does this earlier post with the scoop on filing estimated taxes.

Payment Due Date* For income received in
1 April 15 Jan. 1 through March 31
2 June 15 April 1 through May 31
3 Sept. 15 June 1 through Aug. 31
4 Jan. 15 of next year Sept. 1 through Dec. 31
*If the 15th is on weekend or federal holiday, the estimated payment is due the next business day.                       


Do your education tax breaks homework:
September is a long-awaited month for parents. It's when they get to send the kids back to school.

But school costs at all levels can be problematic. That's why moms and dads need to study up on the educational tax breaks that can help.

They range from the Coverdell Education Savings Account's option to pay for some elementary and secondary school expenses (like computers) to the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can help cover many college costs, including textbooks.

Watch the weather: Hurricane Harvey's aftermath ushered in this month, but — don't shoot the messenger! — more tropical storms could be on the way. September is traditionally the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

So if you live in a hurricane prone area — and realistically, that's just about anywhere given the way the storms move inland — you need to get ready for a possible hit now. The ol' blog's special Natural Disasters Resources page can help.

September_tax_moves_160More monthly moves: Those are just four tax things to think about this month. You can find more tax strategies in the September Tax Moves list over in the right column, just under the digital clock counting down to the October extended filing deadline.

Some won't apply to your personal tax situation at all, but others could help you make this tax year and the coming filing season smoother. Check them out just in case.

Then sit back and enjoy what we — or me, at least — hope will be a much cooler and, more importantly, calmer September.

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