March is almost over. The cliché traditional hook for the month's coming and going is in like a lion, out like a lamb, or vice versa.
But March here in Texas is wildflower time. This last weekend the hubby and I headed to an olive grove for a festival where we not only picked up some yummy eats, but spent the afternoon among some of Central Texas' most beautiful creations.
As the photo above shows, it wasn't all olive trees at Shady Oaks Olive Orchard. In addition to the wildflowers, adjacent fields were home to livestock.
And that provides the theme for the 68th Carnival of Taxes: A Herd of Tax Advice. Now it's time to round up our Carnivalistas and steer you to some filing tips.
We start with Barb, a volunteer with the VITA program. She says Do this Personal Finance Task Now and Feel Great, posted at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.
Madison DuPaix presents 13 Tax Deductions You Don’t Want to Miss, posted at My Dollar Plan.
PeakPersonalFinance presents Are You Eligible for These 5 Tax Breaks? It's posted at Peak Personal Finance.
The Investor offers some ideas on how to reduce capital gains taxes. It's primarily for U.K. investors, but some international investors might find it useful, too. Details are in Avoiding capital gains tax on your investments, posted at Monevator.
Investment taxes also are a concern for Canadian investors. Arjun Rudra presents Understanding How Your Investments Are Taxed With Cleo Hamel Of H&R Block Canada, posted at Investing Thesis.
PT Money presents What If You Cannot File Your Tax Return by April 15th? Find out at PT Money.
Deadlines also are addressed by a couple other bloggers.
Sun presents How to File a Tax Extension at The Sun’s Financial Diary.
BackTaxesHelp.com suggests File Late Tax Returns to Take Control of Your Back Taxes at Back Taxes Help.
Tax-favored retirement plans also get a lot of attention at tax time.
The Smarter Wallet presents Your Retirement Savings Account: How To Avoid Tax Problems, posted at The Smarter Wallet.
"The Roth puzzle for asset conversions, as well as for annual Roth contributions during working years, is one of the most complex decisions that the ridiculously complex U.S. taxation and retirement planning system forces upon individuals," says Larry Russell. He offers some help in Evaluating Roth IRA Conversions, posted at Best Personal Financial Planning Software.
For our Canadian filers, Tom says Udotaxes has a very polished look that makes it appear less like free software and more like QuickTax or UFile. Details are at Tax Software Review – Udotaxes 2009, posted at Canadian Finance Blog.
More filing advice comes from freefrombroke, who presents Ways People May File Income Taxes For Less Or Even Free, posted at Free From Broke.
Silicon Valley Blogger presents How To File Taxes For Less, posted at The Digerati Life.
Consumer Boomer presents What happens If you Don’t File A Tax Return - Unfiled Tax Returns, posted at Consumer Boomer.
Refunds are on the minds of many folks.
Jim presents States Delaying Tax Refund Checks, posted at Bargaineering.
According to the IRS, says BWL, the
average tax refund will be $2,800 this year. That is over $230 a month
that everyone is lending to the government interest free. To remedy
that, check out Why I Don't Want a Big Tax Refund Next Year, posted at Christian Personal Finance.
Frugal Dad presents 16 Ways Not To Blow Your Tax Refund, posted at Frugal Dad.
Tax help for college costs comes from a couple contributors.
Steve takes a look at how to claim the expanded college tax credit in The 2009 College Tax Credit, posted at 2009 Taxes.
Mike Piper says if you're using a regular savings account to save for college, you're throwing away money on taxes. He suggests Saving for College with a Savings Account, posted at The Oblivious Investor.
Several contributors look beyond the annual filing duties.
Lubna Kably says India's finance bill, 2010, has sought to pump up the treasury coffers via service tax impositions. One wonders how some of these proposals can be actually implemented. Take for instance the proposal to tax apartments with a better view! Find out more in Law Street - Economic Times (March 2010) - Post budget column at Talking Tax.
"If a politician utters the words FAIR TAX, run like hell," says Wenchypoo. "It's a VAT tax plan in disguise!" He elaborates in The VAT Cometh at Wisdom From Wenchypoo's Mental Wastebasket.
Super Saver presents Taxing the Rich, posted at My Wealth Builder.
FMF presents Five Tax Myths, posted at Free Money Finance.
Ben presents Tax Refund Loans – Costs & Alternatives, posted at Money Smart Life.
And we close with an oldie but still goodie for consideration from WC, who asks Should You Pay More Taxes if You Make More Money? It's posted at The Writer's Coin.
Before we moooove (sorry; couldn't resist) on, mark your calendars for April 12. That will be our next Tax Carnival. Since it's just days before the filing deadline, it will be chock full of last minute tax tips.
Be a part of it by sending your tax post (and truly tax-related stuff only, please; check the guidelines for details) to the Blog Carnival page. In the meantime, feel free to peruse the Tax Carnival archives.
Photos by Kay Bell; click on images for larger version.