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4 tax moves to make this September

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September usually is a welcome month.

The summer's hot temperatures finally moderate as the official start of fall nears.

Parents and children get their routines back as school is in session.

Then there's the reason why usually comes into play as far as September's arrival.

It's traditionally the most active month of the annual hurricane season. Nobody wants to see that.

We'll have to wait a few more weeks to see if that holds for 2019, but September's start is ominous.

Hurricane Dorian, which already has smashed all sorts of intensity records, is stalking Florida as I type. If forecasts are correct, the huge and slow-moving storm could crawl up the United States' eastern seaboard, causing major problems for not only the Sunshine State, but also Georgia and South and North Carolinas.

And that's on the heels of wreaking havoc on the Bahamas, leaving five people dead 20 people dead.

As you've already guessed, hurricane preparation is one of the four tax moves recommended for this month. In fact, it's number one.

Since it's already Sept. 3, let's get started.

1. Watch the weather.
Obviously, hurricanes are top of mind this month. The tropical storm season doesn't end until Nov. 30, but as noted earlier, most of the activity usually happens in September.

If you live in a hurricane prone area — and realistically, that's just about anywhere given the way storms move inland — you need to get ready now for a possible hit. The ol' blog's special Natural Disasters Resources pages can help.

Note, too, that while we're riding out hurricane season, some of us literally, there are all types of natural disasters that occur nationwide, any time of the year.

Also remember that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made major changes to claiming casualty losses that could help you get some tax money to use toward repairs and recovery.

Now only damages from presidentially-declared major disasters can be claimed as an itemized deduction.

2. File your 2017 taxes.
Each year, millions of taxpayers put off their April tax return task and get an additional six months to fill out and send in their 1040 forms. That's not a bad move if you were awaiting more documents or the deadline sneaked up on you.

True, the absolutely final due date for finishing your 2018 federal return (and likely your state taxes if that applies) is Oct. 15. But why wait.

In most cases, you'll probably be in no better position than you are now. Late arriving tax forms should have arrived. Now all you have to do is use that info to get your tax paperwork out of the way now.

If you qualify for Free File, that online no-cost tax preparation and e-filing option is still available.

3. Make your third estimated tax payment.
If you get income from a source where there's not withholding, like investment earnings or a side hustle, then you need to make estimated tax payments.

The third of these four payments for the 2019 tax year is due Sept. 16.

If you've already been making estimated tax payments this year, you're already familiar with the four 1040-ES due dates and the income periods they cover. You've also noticed that this month's deadline is a day later than usual since the regular Sept. 15 due date is on Sunday.

But if this is a new tax task for you, the table below has the details, as does this earlier post with the scoop on filing estimated taxes.

Payment

Due Date*

For income received in

1

April 15

Jan. 1 through March 31

2

June 15

April 1 through May 31

3

Sept. 15

June 1 through Aug. 31

4

Jan. 15 of next year

Sept. 1 through Dec. 31

*If the 15th is on weekend or federal holiday, the estimated payment is due the next business day.

4. Don't miss other September deadlines.
In addition to the Sept. 15-pushed-to-16 estimated tax deadline for individuals, there are a handful of other deadlines.

Sept. 16 also is the due date for corporate estimated taxpayers, as well as those who got extensions to file their partnership (Form 1065) or S Corp (Form 1120S) tax returns.

Sept. 30 is the end of the 5½ month extended filing period for estates and trusts (Form 1041) that operate on the calendar year.

September_tax_moves_160More monthly moves: These four items are just a few of the tax things to think about this month.

You can find more tax strategies in the September Tax Moves list over in the right column, just under the digital clock counting down to the October extended filing deadline.

Everyone's tax situation is unique, so how many of these tax moves will apply to you will vary. But check them out just in case.

Then, sure that you've done all you can and should this month to make 2019 less costly and the coming filing season a bit chaotic, sit back and enjoy the other less taxing changes that September will bring.

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