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Tax Carnival #114: March 2013 Tax Lions and Lambs

Lion and lambMarch is a month of change. Its typically chilly, blustery early days as winter winds down give way at the end of the month to gentler days as spring begins to settle in.

That transition is what gave us the "in like lion, out like a lamb" description of March.

It fits for taxes, too. We have the brutal tax lions, the laws that take so much of our income. And we have the tax lambs, the various tax breaks that allow us to get some of it back from the Internal Revenue Service.

The traditional March moniker is especially fitting this year. Many taxpayers have been roaring to file, but the delay of the 2013 filing season because of late-passed legislation and tax form updating has forced them to wait meekly like lambs until the Internal Revenue Service was ready this month to accept their returns.

So this collection of tax tips and advice is dubbed Tax Carnival #114: March tax lions and lambs.

We start with some warnings of tax situations that can be as scary as the king of beasts.

Dan Meyer presents Another Tax Season, Another Warning: Watch Out for "IRS e-mail" Scams, posted at Tick Marks.

Jacob warns the American taxpayer with a simple tax return about falling for those that claim they will do your 1040EZ for "just $59.99" or some other cut rate. "You can fill it out just fine by yourself or better, with the help of a free online tax preparation/filing software, and not pay a dime," he notes. Find out how at "What a Deal! Only a $59.99 Fee to File a 1040EZ!" Please No. Instead, Try a FREE Step-by-Step Guide to Filling Out Your 1040EZ, posted at My Personal Finance Journey.

Michael Kitces looks at The Impact Of The Phaseout Of Itemized Deductions (Pease Limitation) On AMT Exposure. It's posted at Nerd's Eye View.

Several contributors have advice for parents dealing with child-care tax challenges.

Lion baby 353x383 via NameberryShelby Martin reminds parents that there could be dire consequences if they consider an under-the-table arrangement that will leave a nanny with no W-2 at the beginning of the year. Get the scoop at What Are the Consequences For Not Giving Your Nanny a W-2 Form? It's posted at Blog.

Brittany Hall also has some tax things that folks considering questionable ways to cut child care costs should consider in Why You Should Think Twice About Hiring an Illegal Nanny. It's posted at Nanny Interview Questions.

Emily presents a way for parents to maximize your tax savings in Understanding The Child Tax Credit, posted at One Smart Dollar.

Saving for retirement? We've got that covered.

Neal Frankle says making deductible IRA contributions can be one of the best financial moves available. "Not only do you get an immediate tax savings, you also take advantage of tax deferred investment growth for years to come," says Neal, who presents the details in Can You Make Deductible IRA Contributions? It's posted at Wealth Pilgrim.

More special accounts offer other tax savings.

Scott says learn how to minimize your tax bill by using a health savings account. Details in Maximize Your Taxes with a Health Savings Plan, posted at One Smart Dollar.

Lion and lamb cookies via Almost Unschoolers blogEdward Webber alerts the ol' blog's British readers that the tax allowance for 2013 has increased in the United Kingdom. Find out just how much you can earn before you need to pay any tax in Tax Code 944L, posted at TaxFix.

Michael says we all know that tax cuts produce economic success, right? Well, things might not be quite so simple. Find out about the complications in The Economic Impact of Income Taxes, posted at Financial Ramblings.

We've got six weeks or so until returns are due at the Internal Revenue Service. A couple of Tax Carnivalistas have tips on how to meet that deadline or, if you just can't, how to deal with that situation.

Miranda says before you head over to your accountant to do your taxes make sure you have all of the documents you need. See what to gather in Tax Time: What to Bring to Your Accountant, posted at Free From Broke.

Thomas F. Scanlon offers 3 Proven Reasons You Should Be Prepared to File a Tax Extension This Year, posted at Borgida & Company, P.C.

Finally, we have a look at everyone's favorite tax topic, a refund.

Kristen says don't let your tax refund go to waste, especially if you have little ones who could benefit from it. Check out 7 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund as Parents, posted at My Dollar Plan.

And with that, we wrap up Tax Carnival #114: March tax lions and lambs.

Tax carnival iconThanks to all the contributors and especially to all y'all for reading. The next carnival will be March 18. Be a part of that collection of tax posts (and tax-only items please; the guidelines page has details) by sending your item via the Carnival of Taxes submission page.

UPDATE: My Bad. I didn't get to the March 18 Tax Carnival. These submissions will be included in in the April 1 Tax Carnival. Is it April 16 yet?

Social media fans can send Tax Carnival posts via Twitter (I'm @taxtweet; please use hashtag #TC115) or post them on Don't Mess With Taxes' Facebook wall.

Or if you prefer email, send your tax blog item to me at taxcarnival @


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The instructions for 1040EZ has 46 pages.
In my opinion, doing taxes is not a DIY activity; go find a VITA site and they will do your taxes for free.

Jacob @ My Personal Finance Journey

Thanks for including my 1099EZ post!

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