Say hello to the heart of tax-filing season
The shortest month of the year also is the heart of filing season, as millions of taxpayers submit their taxes as early as possible. These are the filers lucky enough to have all their necessary forms in hand.
Other of us are more deliberate. These filers take extra time to make sure they have all the filing information and documents and then take their time working on their 1040s. They want to ensure they get it all right so, unlike Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, they on't have to keep doing their taxes over and over and over to correct mistakes.
Then there are the procrastinators. That's OK. You — and often times, me — still have plenty of time to get our taxes done and on their way to the Internal Revenue Service by mid-April.
But it doesn't hurt, regardless of whether you've already filed and are waiting on your refund or just getting started or putting things off for a bit longer, you should find some tips here that help you make it through this tax years.
Since February's short time frame is already ticking away, let's get to it!
- How to stop tax procrastinating — While there are many legitimate reasons to take your time completing your Form 1040, waiting until the deadline is bearing down generally is not a good idea. Here's why so many of us tend to put off doing our taxes and how we can break this habit. (Feb. 2, 2019)
- Gambling winnings are taxable — An estimated $6 billion was bet on Super Bowl LIII, the first NFL championship game played since sports betting was legalized by a 2018 Supreme Court decision. If you were one of the millions who wagered on the game or the goofy prop bets and you won, be sure to report your winnings when you file your return next year. (Feb. 3, 2019)
- 6 reasons to file your taxes early — It's generally a good idea to file your tax return early, whether you're getting a refund or owe the IRS. These six reasons explain why. (Feb. 6, 2019)
- 6 reasons to wait to file your taxes — Ready to file? You might want to take a step back. While we all want to be done with our annual tax return filing task, sometimes — like the six instances discussed here — it's better to wait a bit before submitting your Form 1040. (Feb. 8, 2019)
- Be sure to claim the EITC if you qualify — The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) offers savings, and possible refunds, to low- and moderate-income taxpayers. However, every year millions who are eligible to claim the EITC don't. Check out how this tax credit's benefits and if you qualify, claim it! (Feb. 10, 2019)
- 5 things to know about retirement plan hardship withdrawals —The longest-ever, federal government shutdown earlier this year made it painfully clear that many of Uncle Sam's employees don't have an emergency savings cushion. In some of these situations, folks raid their retirement accounts when they suddenly need cash. The money can help tide you over, but could have adverse short-term tax costs. (Feb. 12, 2019)
- Valentine's Day: Love, hearts and taxes — Every year, Valentine's Day comes during the heart of tax filing season. While most of us marry for love, finances and the related taxes are a big part of our coupled relationships. Here's a look at five love and taxes considerations. (Feb. 14, 2019)
- EITC and ACTC refunds are good to go, sort of — Since 2017, the Internal Revenue Service has had to hold onto tax refunds when the filers claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or additional child tax credit (ACTC) until mid-February. That deadline is here, but if you're affected by this law, be patient. It will take the IRS some time, especially in this government shutdown-affected filing season, for your tax money to be sent. (Feb. 15, 2019)
- Ways to pay your tax bill — If you're one of many (many, many) unhappily surprised taxpayers who discovers you owe taxes when you file, check out these ways, both old school and electronic, to pay Uncle Sam. (Feb. 19, 2019)
But wait, there's more! As I mentioned, as soon as January wraps, you can check out February's (and March's and April's) Filing Season Tax Tips. When those months and tips arrive, the links below will become live.