Welcome to 2018's post-tax party, where we're celebrating the end (finally!) of the high tax filing season after an unexpected delay through midnight April 18.
Yeah, me too.
But all's good because when we sent in our Form 4868, we paid any tax we guesstimated we owe. Right? Right? Right.
And now we have until Oct. 15 to meet our new 2017 tax return filing deadline.
So take a breath. But not too deeply or for too long.
While we've got more time to finish our 2017 taxes, that new deadline will arrive before we realize. And we don't want to be in a panic in six months because we procrastinated until the absolutely, positively last tax-filing moment.
Plus, we've got to focus more this year on the tax laws since many of them changed in 2018 thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).
Once-a-week tax advice: So let's get this tax party started with tax tips to entertain our original guests, our extended 2017 tax returns, and to welcome our new party crasher, the TCJA tax law changes.
Here at the ol' blog, we've got something for all the attendees with Weekly Tax Tips.
As in previous years, a new piece of tax advice will be featured each week. Unlike previous years, the weekly tip will go up on Friday instead of Wednesday. I know you want some weekend tax reading!
But it still will be in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
Many of the items will be for the majority of taxpayers who are done with last year's taxes and are looking for ways to trim this year's tax bill. A few, though, will be aimed at helping those of us who've yet to file get that job done, especially as October nears.
The once-a-week tax tips will continue, as they've done in past years, until 2018 winds down. That will be on Dec. 28, the last Friday of this year.
Also, don't be surprised if a stray weekly tip or two also shows up in the opening week/weeks of January 2019 before I transition to the New Year's tax filing season and the return of the 2019 Daily Tax Tips.
But wait. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Let's get back to this year and the 2018 Weekly Tax Tips. Here goes!
- Missed Tax Day? Do this now — Some folks didn't file their federal taxes on April 17 (or 18). If you're among those who missed the deadline and also neglected to get an extension, you need to make these four tax moves ASAP. (April 20, 2018)
- Tax record keeping tips — You're done with your taxes. Now it's time to store those key filing records. Why? Well, there are many reasons and ways, but the key one is in case you're audited. So start sorting and saving! (April 27, 2018)
- 6 times married couples should file separate tax returns — Most married taxpayers do most everything together, even filing taxes. Sometimes, though, it's better for spouses to file separate 1040 forms. (May 4, 2018)
- 3 tax tip gifts for moms — My gift to moms for the upcoming Mother's Day is these three tax tips that could help cover some of their parenting costs. You, however, better come up with a much better present for your mother! (May 11, 2018)
- 4 side hustle tax tips — Are you looking to supplement your income with a side job? If you join the gig economy, these tax tips can help make sure you don't pay Uncle Sam too much tax on your side earnings. (May 18, 2018)
- Take a pre-disaster inventory — Hurricane Season 2018 is getting an early start with Alberto already formed. One of the first moves you should make is taking a pre-disaster inventory of your household goods. It will help you file insurance claims and, if the catastrophe is declared a major disaster, you also might get some tax relief. (May 25, 2018)
- Tax issues for the unemployed — Being out of work is bad enough, but you also need to pay attention to the possible tax implications. While the tax code does offer some help for those who've lost jobs and income, it also says that you owe tax on your unemployment benefits. (June 1, 2018)
- Ways to pay estimated taxes — Tax Day is back, this time for filers who must make estimated tax payments. The second payment for the 2018 tax year is due next week, Friday, June 15. Here's how you can pay your due 1040ES amount. (June 8, 2018)
- 10 tax tips for newlyweds — After "I do" newly married couples face a list of tax to-do's, too. Here are 10 tax things couples who are planning their weddings or who have exchange vows should think about. (June 15, 2018)
- A look at the three versions of Form 1040 — Thanks to tax law changes, Form 1040 is about to get a makeover. Starting with tax year 2018, the granddaddy of tax documents will be dramatically shorter, transformed into the long-promised size of a postcard. But there are two other 1040 versions: the 1040A and 1040EZ. You should always pick the Form 1040 version, regardless of tax-related tweaking, that best fits your tax situation, provides the easiest filing and saves you the most tax money. (June 22, 2018)
- Tax-smart ways to share your wedding joy — June is the traditional marriage month, but couples say "I do" year-round. And some also share the joy of their big day by giving back to others. These four easy and tax-smart moves can help others share in your wedding celebration. (June 29, 2018)
- 4 hurricane preparation steps — Hurricane Beryl is heading west across the Atlantic. The storm could hit islands that are still recovering from last year's devastating storms. While this second storm of the 2018 season is at this point not expected to reach the U.S. mainland, storms are hard to predict this far out. But you can go ahead and start getting ready for this and any future storms, just in case. (July 6, 2018)
- Beware these 13 tax scams — These 13 tax scams are scary even when it's not Friday the 13th! Be on the lookout for them every day, not just on those with superstitious significance. (Friday, July 13, 2018)
- 6 tax holiday shopping tips — Are you planning to take advantage of a back-to-school sales tax holiday this summer in your state? Here are some ways to maximize your savings, tax and otherwise. (July 20, 2018)
And for all y'all still working on of needing to amend your 2017 taxes, you can always get help by checking the 2018 Daily Tax Tips collected on their monthly pages: January, February, March and April.