It's finally here! Uncle Sam's favorite month, no April fooling, since it's the home to the Internal Revenue Service's annual mid-month filing deadline.
Just like last year, we get a few extra filing days in 2017, until April 18, thanks to the Emancipation Day federal holiday. It's on April 15 and since that's on a Saturday this year, the holiday will be observed on Monday, April 17.
Federal tax law says that legal holidays in the District of Columbia affect the filing deadline across the nation. So that pushes the whole country's tax return due date to Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
You're welcome, procrastinators. And there are a whole lot of us. Yes, us. I, too, tend to put this task off until the bitter end every year.
In fact, I typically get an extension to file, even when we have extra time like this year. My excuse reason is that the extra six months give me more time to gather all my filing data, make sure I haven't missed any possible tax breaks and contribute to my self-employment retirement accounts. Yep, all us entrepreneurs get until the extended due date to contribute to our SEP IRA or other similar nest eggs.
But enough of dilly-dallying now. It's time to get to the final Daily Tax Tips of the main 2017 tax-filing season!
- Claiming casualty losses — Bad things happen to good people all the time. In some cases, Uncle Sam can help. You can claim casualty losses, which the Internal Revenue Service describes as "damage, destruction or loss of property from an identifiable event that is sudden, unexpected or unusual" by itemizing on your annual taxes. And when it's major natural disaster, you can amend your tax return to claim them and get potential refund help sooner.(April 3, 2017)
- Dirty Dozen tax scams of 2017 — The same scams seem hang around each tax season, but apparently they are still catching some naïve taxpayers. As the 2017 filing season winds down, make sure you don't fall for any of these 12 tax schemes aimed at stealing your identity and tax refund. (April 4, 2017)
- 10 overlooked tax breaks — Every tax-filing season taxpayers lose money by not claiming all the tax breaks they can. Don't be one of them! Check out these 10 tax sins of omission and make sure you don't commit them. (April 5, 2017)
- 10 costly tax mistakes — It's one thing to overlook a tax break that could lower your tax bill. Those will cost you money, but they won't invoke the ire of the IRS like making one of these tax mistakes that shortchanges the U.S. Treasury. (April 6, 2017)
- Don't wave these 10 audit red flags — Internal Revenue Service audit rates are historically low, but that doesn't matter if your return is one of the few that gets pulled for a closer look by a tax examiner. You can lessen your odds by not making any of these IRS eye-catching moves when you file. (April 7, 2017)
- Tax advantages of savings bonds — U.S. savings bonds may seem old school, but they offer several tax advantages, including in connection with paying education costs. Interest on bonds also is exempt from state and local taxes. And you can use your tax refund to buy saving bonds. (April 8, 2017)
- VITA, TCE sites off free tax help — Looking for in-person tax preparation and filing help, but don't make enough to pay a professional? Check out the Internal Revenue Service-certified volunteers at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites across the United States. (April 9, 2017)
- Check out above-the-line tax deductions — Most taxpayers claim the standard deduction, but they still might be able to reduce their tax bills by using some of the income adjustments, popularly known as above-the-line deductions, that are found directly on tax return Forms 1040 and 1040A. (April 10, 2017)
- Maximizing itemized deductions — If you itemize deductions, make sure you make the most of what can be claimed on your Schedule A. (April 11, 2017)
- IRA contribution tax benefits — Time is running out to make tax-saving moves. But adding to an traditional IRA by the April filing deadline could be a win-win-win. (April 12, 2017)
- 12 more often overlooked tax breaks — Nearly 40 million of us have yet to file our tax returns. That means we (yes, I'm one of them) will be scrambling to finish our 1040s these final few days before the April 18 deadline. If you're one of us, make sure you don't overlook valuable tax breaks, like the dozen listed here. (April 13, 2017)
- Why tax credits rule — Both tax deductions and tax credits help reduce what you own Uncle Sam. But credits are better that deductions because they cut your Internal Revenue Service tax bill dollar-for-dollar. (April 14, 2017)
- The scoop on paying estimated taxes — Millions of U.S. taxpayers have to make four extra tax payments every year. Here's the who, what, when, where, why and how of estimated taxes. (April 15, 2017)
- Tax e-file, e-pay options — The Internal Revenue Service is a big fan of online options. That's why it offers us taxpayers a wide variety of electronic ways to file returns and, if necessary, pay any money we owe Uncle Sam. (April 16, 2017)
- 6 tax tasks to take care of by April 18 — Tax Day (it's April 18 this year) isn't just the annual tax-filing deadline. Here's a look at every tax move you might need to make by this year's April due date. (April 17, 2017)
- 10 last-minute tax filing tips — Still working on, or about to start, your 2016 tax return? Here are 10 last-minute tax filing tips. (April 17, 2017)
- 5 tips for tax snail mailers — Are you a committed snail mailer when it comes to your taxes? Here are some tips to help you complete your tax task the old-school way. (April 18, 2017)
- Tax filing extension tips — Just can't get your 1040 finished by today's tax-filing deadline? Get an automatic six-month extension by filing Form 4868, the tax procrastinator's best friend. Here's how. (April 18, 2017)
- 4 moves to make ASAP if you missed the tax filing deadline — Did you forget (yeah, let's go with "forgot") to file your taxes on April 18? Then you need to take these steps NOW! (April 20, 2017)
Want more tax tip goodness? You got it!
Below are links to all the 2017 monthly daily tax tips pages. Peruse them at your leisure or as the tax deadline demands.
Can't get enough tax tips? Check out Don't Mess With Taxes' continually expanding collection of year-round tax tips and money moves.