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4 tax moves to make this September

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Ah, fall. Summer's scorching temperatures start to moderate. School's back in session. College and football players are back on the fields.

Sorry. I seem to have drifted off into memories of autumn 2019. This is 2020.

Scientists say worldwide, this year could rank near the top in torrid temps. Schools across the United States are struggling with how to keep students and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic. And as for sports, the National Football League is going to give it a try, but some major college conferences have already called off theirs seasons.

One thing, though, hasn't changed. Taxes.

Sure, the first half of the tax year was disrupted by COVID-19, notably some law changes and rescheduled July 15 Tax Day. And sure, there still are some coronavirus tax complexities (still looking at you Paycheck Protection Program) with which many of us must deal.

But for the most part, especially on the individual side, now that we're winding down the tax year, the usual tax matters are playing out as, well, usual.

Here are four to consider this September.

1. Watch the weather.
Obviously, hurricanes are top of mind this month. The tropical storm season doesn't end until Nov. 30, but September is a historically busy month for tropical systems.

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.

If you've already been impacted by one of the storms — and that's a possibility, since we got to L with Hurricane Laura before September arrived — check into possible tax relief.

The Internal Revenue Service usually offers delayed deadlines to those affected by major storms. Those destructive disasters also mean you might be able to claim losses on your taxes

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

The third of these four payments for the 2019 tax year is due Sept. 15.

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. 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.
+In 2020, the 1st and 2nd quarter payments were due on July 15.

If, however, you're dealing with major storm damage, then there's a good chance, as noted in #1's weather watch tax move, that this September deadline is postponed. Certain California wildfire and Iowa derecho victims have until Dec. 15 to make their third estimated tax payment. The date is Dec. 31 for Hurricane Laura victims.

3. File your 2019 taxes.
Even though Tax Day 2020 was three months later this year, plenty of folks still couldn't make that deadline. Instead, they filed for an extension, giving them until Oct. 15 to submit their 1040 forms.

True, the absolutely final due date to finish your 2019 federal return (and likely your state taxes, too, if that applies) is Oct. 15. But why wait?

By now, you should have all the slow-arriving tax forms and documents that contributed to your procrastination. And you might be able to file for free. The IRS' Free File option is still available to taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is $69,000 or less.

If you're still dealing with major storm damage, then the aforementioned estimated tax deadline delays also apply here. Again, that's Dec. 15 certain California wildfire and Iowa derecho victims and Dec. 31 for Hurricane Laura victims to finish filing their 2019 tax returns.

4. Don't miss business deadlines.
In addition to being the third estimated tax payment deadline, Sept. 15 also is the due date for a variety of other tax payments and filings.

Corporations that got a six-month extension must file calendar year Form 1120S by Sept. 15. This business entity also must deposit on that day the third installment of 2020 estimated tax.

Similarly, partnerships on filing extension must finish that task and submit by Sept. 15 their applicable 1065, 8804 or 8805 forms. Also due that day is partnership Form 8813 quarterly payment voucher.

September_tax_moves_160More monthly moves: Additional September tax deadlines can be found in the IRS' small businesses calendar that linked at the end of the September Tax Moves list over in the ol' blog's right column.

That list, found just under the digital clock counting down to the October extended filing deadline, also has other tax moves to consider this month.

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. In this crazy coronavirus tax year, you don't want to have to deal with overlooked tax tasks, too.

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