March is here! The month of lions, lambs, Ides and ideas on how to cut your tax bill.
We're heading into the home stretch of the annual filing season. Even though we get a few extra days before our taxes are due -- April 18 this year -- we can't afford to waste time.
So quit being a tax lamb. Summon that inner tax lion and let's get to the tax tasks at hand.
This month's tips will suggest ways to cut your 2015 tax bill, as well as offer ways to make 2016's Internal Revenue Service bill less, well, taxing.
And as has been the case for the two previous months, this page will collect all the tax advice that's highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog during March.
Now, let's get this tax list started!
- Capital gains and your home sale -- Homeownership provides many tax breaks, the best of which is a sizable tax-free profit when you sell your residence. (March 1, 2016)
- 8 outrageous tax deductions -- Yes, you can write off a lot of things, but not everything. Here are some of the craziest tax deductions folks have tried to slip past the IRS and their tax professionals. (March 2, 2016)
- The many ways to e-file your taxes -- If you plan to electronically file your tax return, you've got lots of options, some of which are low-cost or even free. (March 3, 2016)
- What's taxable and what's not -- It sure seems like every penny you make is taxed, but that's not true. There are a few items from which Uncle Sam doesn't take a cut. (March 4, 2016)
- Is your hobby really a business? -- If you're regularly turning a profit on your recreational pursuit, you might save some tax money by officially converting it to a job. (March 7, 2016)
- 12 small business tax breaks -- 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 8, 2016)
- Simplified home office deduction -- If you don't have a lot of home office expenses, this alternate way to claim residential workplace costs could be just what you need. (March 9, 2016)
- Unemployment and taxes -- Being out of work presents a variety of financial considerations. There are some tax breaks that could help ease the loss of income. But you also might owe taxes on unemployment benefits. (March 10, 2016)
- Writing off job-hunting costs -- You got a new job last year. Congratulations! Now see if you can deduct your job-search expenses. (March 11, 2016)
- How the Earned Income Tax Credit can help -- Lower and middle income workers might be eligible for this refundable tax credit. For the 2015 tax year, the EITC could be worth up to $6,242 for some qualifying families. (March 14, 2016)
- Properly defined dependents pay off -- Claiming your kids and other relatives, including those folks who aren't technically family but qualify under the Internal Revenue Service definition of relative, as dependents can lower your taxes. Just make sure you follow the sometimes confusing IRS rules. (March 15, 2016)
- IRS tax credit helps with childcare costs -- The IRS can't help you find a day care provider for your children, but Uncle Sam can help you cover some of the costs via the child and dependent care tax credit. (March 16, 2016)
- Take advantage of the adoption tax credit -- Adopting a child can be a joy, but also costly. Your Uncle Sam, however, offers ways through the tax code to save when you add to your family. (March 17, 2016)
- Getting tax help to care for an aging parent -- If your mom or dad is older, you might be helping them out, physically and financially. Uncle Sam offers adult kids some tax relief when they are taking care of, and claiming as a tax dependent, an aging parent. (March 18, 2016)
- Check out the many education tax breaks -- College expenses are ever increasing, but your Uncle Sam can help. The tax code offers an array of tax-advantaged ways to cover the many higher education costs. (March 21, 2016)
- An education tax credit primer -- Tax credits help cut what you owe Uncle Sam dollar-for-dollar. For students and their families, the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits can help cover many of their higher and continuing educational costs. (March 22, 2016)
- Older folks face April 1 RMD deadline -- The mandatory minimum retirement account distribution (RMD) deadline is April 1 for some older individuals. No joke. Another option: Directly donating your RMD to a charity. (March 23, 2016)
- Deducting state and local taxes -- Residents of 43 states and the District of Columbia pay more than just federal income taxes. The one consolation is that those state and local levies can be useful as itemized deductions to reduce your IRS bill. (March 24, 2016)
- Maximizing medical deductions -- To claim itemized medical deductions your expenses must be more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income. Here are some ways to clear that hurdle. (March 25, 2016)
- 5 terrible tax surprises -- Taxes are bad enough, but things get worse when you come upon one of these costly tax surprises. (March 28, 2016)
- Roth IRA rules -- The deadline to contribute to a Roth IRA is April 18. If you're planning to put money into or open a Roth retirement account, make sure you know all the tax-free account's rules. (March 29, 2016)
- Traditional IRA rules -- The original individual retirement account has fallen out of favor with many folks, but it still can provide some a nest egg for later and tax savings now. (March 30, 2016)
- Retirement savers credit -- Uncle Sam rewards some savers now for contributions to their future nest eggs. Qualifying taxpayers can claim this tax credit worth up to $1,000 per person directly against any taxes owed. (March 31, 2016)
March went out like a crazy Sasquatch, big-footing my schedule and throwing me behind. So here's April's first Daily Tax Tip, no fooling! The separate April page is coming soon. Thanks for your patience.
Don't make these 5 foolish tax mistakes -- Don't be an April Tax Fool. Here are some tax errors you should avoid as the IRS deadline nears, and really any month. (April 1, 2016)
When we wrap up March, it's full steam ahead to the April deadline. And whenever you need some tips on filing your return, you can always visit the collected tax tips pages listed below.
Can't get enough tax tips? Check out Don't Mess With Taxes' continually expanding collection of year-round tax tips and money moves.