It's here! Uncle Sam's favorite month. Those of us who put off filing our taxes tend to do so because we owe the U.S. Treasury. That ends on Tax Day.
True, we can file for a six-month extension. That, however, is more time to file your forms. When you submit your Form 4868 you also must send a good estimate of any tax you owe.
Since you have to do some calculating anyway and get your extension into the Internal Revenue Service by the April due date, which is April 17 this year, you might as well finish the job by then.
These tax tips can help. You'll find the weekday pieces of tax advice, like January's and February's before them, will be highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
After a Monday-through-Friday day in the spotlight through April 17, this month's tips will find their new permanent home on this page.
And if you need more tips because you're just now getting started on your Form 1040, you can find them in the previously posted monthly tax tips pages. You'll find those links at the end of this page.
Tax planning, too: If, however, you are done with your annual tax filing, good for you. Now you can get to work on ways to trim your 2018 tax bill.
That will be a bit more of a challenge now that new tax laws, courtesy the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, are in place. The tips about the tax changes, some of which have already been posted, will help here.
But for now, it's time to focus on finishing up your 2017 taxes. So let's get to the tips.
- Don't overlook these tax breaks — Tax Day is almost here. You're in a hurry. You're overwhelmed. You're scared. Take a breath. Then check out these 12 often overlooked tax breaks. (April 2, 2018)
- Above-the-line tax deductions don't require itemizing — Most taxpayers claim the standard deduction. Even more are likely to in 2018, since those amounts have been dramatically increased for the 2018 tax year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But even if you use the standard deduction, you still might be able to reduce your tax bills by claiming some income adjustments, popularly known as above-the-line deductions, that are found directly on tax Forms 1040 and 1040A. (April 3, 2018)
- When to send the IRS an ID theft affidavit — Folks who are victims of tax-related identity theft may wonder when they should file a Form 14039. Here's the scoop from the Internal Revenue Service on when to send it this official ID theft affidavit, which you now can submit online. (April 4, 2018)
- Many and varied online state sales tax laws — The Supreme Court this month will hear arguments on interstate taxation of online sales. Whatever the decision, there will be post-ruling confusion. Check out where your state stands as far as collecting tax on remote sales. (April 5, 2018)
- Take a pre-disaster inventory — Hurricane season doesn't officially start until June 1, but it's not too early to get ready for what is predicted to be an active tropical storm season. One component of hurricane season preparation should be an accurate inventory of your property. (April 6, 2018)
- 6 tips for new taxpayers — Filing a 1040 form for the first time? Don't panic. Here are six suggestions to help you make it through your initial contact (and future ones, too!) with the Internal Revenue Service. (April 9, 2018)
- Maximizing itemized deductions — If you itemize deductions, make sure you make the most of what can be claimed on your Schedule A for the 2017 tax year. It'll be the last time, at least for a while, for some of these deductions thanks to tax law changes that took effect in 2018. (April 10, 2018)
- Don't make these 12 costly tax mistakes — Taxes are complicated, so it's no surprise that taxpayers make mistakes now and then. But some errors seem to show up regularly. Here are a dozen common tax filing errors that you should take care to avoid making. (April 11, 2018)
- 10 tax tasks to take care of by Tax Day — April 17 is THE big day for taxes, with millions of filers working toward that tax filing deadline. But finishing up your annual Form 1040 is just one of 10 tax tasks that many Americans must take care of by Tax Day. (April 11, 2018)
- Take advantage of a filing extension — Sometimes taxpayers find themselves unable to file their taxes by the April due date. In these cases, turn to Form 4868 to get a six-month extension to file your federal tax return. (April 13, 2018)
- Get your part of $1.1 billion in unclaimed federal tax refunds — Lots of folks are anxiously awaiting their 2017 tax refunds, but more than a million taxpayers also are due money from Uncle Sam in connection with tax returns they didn't file three years ago. But to get your part of the more than $1 billion the IRS wants to refund, you must file your 2014 return by the Tuesday, April 17 tax deadline. (April 16, 2018)
- 5 delivery tips for paper return filers — Are you a committed snail mailer (or private delivery service user) when it comes to your taxes? Here are some tips to help you get your old-school paper tax return to the IRS on time. (April 17, 2018)
- E-file and e-pay options — If you're thinking of finally joining the majority of taxpayers who take care of taxes electronically, and you have through today, April 18, to do so thanks to the added filing day, here's a look at your e-file and, if you owe the Internal Revenue Service, e-payment options. (April 18, 2018)
Want more tax tips? You are in luck! You can find the previous two month's collected tax wisdom by clicking the following links. (April to be added when that month arrives.)