Welcome to the shortest month of the year, but one of the busiest when it comes to tax filing.
In February, most of us will get the tax documents we need to file our tax returns. And folks who filed early will be on the look out for their refunds.
There's another good piece of news for February 2016. It's a Leap Year, meaning we get an extra day to work on our 2015 taxes or make moves to reduce what we owe Uncle Sam on our 2016 income.
As with January's tips, this page will collect all the advice highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog during February.
That way, regardless of whether you're a filer who puts off your Form 1040 task until the ultimate deadline -- which is April 18 this year -- or someone who is already thinking about next year's filing season, you can come back to the monthly tax tips pages at your leisure (or panic if you're on filing deadline) for the information you need.
Since February's already ticking away, let's get to this month's tax tips.
- What to do if you don't get a W-2 -- If your W-2 doesn't arrive, there's a way to file without it. You basically recreate it yourself using a special IRS form. (Feb. 1, 2016)
- Working around missing 1099 statements -- Non-wage income, such as investment earnings or independent contractor work, is typically reported on a 1099 form. You need these tax documents to file, but you can make do without them if you must. (Feb. 2, 2016)
- Sports, gambling and taxes -- The Super Bowl is the biggest betting day of the year. If you win a wager, it's taxable income. But there also are many other ways that gambling and taxes interact. (Feb. 3, 2016)
- 10 IRA terms -- If you plan to save for your golden years, the IRS can help. But it also helps if you know these 10 IRA terms. (Feb. 4, 2016)
- 10 overlooked tax breaks -- To ensure you pay the Internal Revenue Service as little as possible this filing season, don't miss out on these often-overlooked tax deductions and credits. (Feb. 5, 2016)
- Reporting gambling winnings -- Regardless of whether you won a big Super Bowl bet or a few scratch-off lottery dollars, you must report that money to the IRS. Here's how. (Feb. 8, 2016)
- 10 tax terms -- To file your taxes it often seems like you have to learn a new language. These tax terms can help you get started. (Feb. 9, 2016)
- Retirement plan contribution limits -- Saving for retirement can be confusing, especially when the limits change each year on how much you can put in various accounts. Here are the rules, and inflation adjustments, for 2015 and 2016 retirement plans. (Feb. 10, 2016)
- All about Obamacare tax forms -- It's the second tax-filing season in which taxpayers must deal with the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, on their returns. This year, some filers will see two new ACA-related forms. (Feb. 11, 2016)
- Joint or separate filing for married couples? -- A married couple has two choices when it comes to filing a tax return. Each spouse can send in one 1040 jointly or file two separate forms. Make sure your marital filing choice fits your tax and financial situation. (Feb. 12, 2016)
- Sales tax deduction -- The purchases you make at this year's Presidents Day holiday sales could help lower your 2016 tax bill. (Feb. 15, 2016)
- Alimony payments have tax implications -- Whether you're paying ex-spousal support or receiving, the Internal Revenue Service is involved. (Feb. 16, 2016)
- Standard mileage inflation adjustments -- If you drive for business, medical reasons or even in support of your favorite charity, you might be able to deduct those miles. Here are the rules and standard deduction amounts for the 2015 and 2016 tax years. (Feb. 17, 2016)
- Wash sale warning -- Did you sell a stock during the market tumble and now want to buy it back? Make sure you don't run afoul of the tax wash sales rules. (Feb. 18, 2016)
- Child and additional child tax credits -- Your children can be a credit to you literally at tax-filing time. The child tax credit helps reduce dollar-for-dollar what you owe Uncle Sam. The additional child tax credit could get you a refund. (Feb. 19, 2016)
- Estate and gift tax limits -- If you're fortunate enough to have lots of money, you can give away substantial amounts of it during your lifetime as part of your tax-savvy estate planning. Here are the amounts that are, and aren't, subject to taxation in 2015 and 2016. (Feb. 22, 2016)
- 6 filing tips for new taxpayers -- Are you filing a 1040 for the first time? Don't panic. These tips can help you successfully submit your first federal tax return. (Feb. 23, 2016)
- States with no income tax -- Tax filing is easier for a few folks. They live in one of the few states that don't collect an income tax. (Feb. 24, 2016)
- 4 ways to get your IRS refund -- Getting money back from Uncle Sam this filing season? You can have your refund amount divided and directly deposited in up to 3 bank accounts. Or you can even use the tax cash to buy savings bonds. (Feb. 25, 2016)
- Where's your refund? -- You filed early so you'd get your refund quickly, but it hasn't yet arrived. Find out its status using the IRS' online search tool. (Feb. 26, 2016)
- Tax lessons from athletes in tax trouble -- No one, not even highly-paid athletes, is immune from tax trouble. But we can learn some lessons from these pro players' tax mistakes. (Feb. 29, 2016)
As soon as February winds down, we'll head right into March (and eventually April) and the Daily Tax Tips for those months. Look through them as your tax needs and time dictate.
Can't get enough tax tips? Check out Don't Mess With Taxes' continually expanding collection of year-round tax tips and money moves.