Leaping at the chance of an extra day to work on taxes!
This year, though, is special. It's a Leap Year.
While the addition of Feb. 29 won't help this month's Valentine sweethearts, it does give all us taxpayers, whether we love or hate doing our taxes, an extra filing season day to take care of that task.
And it will be welcome by the millions who typically send in their tax returns (sans Valentine's Day wishes) to Uncle Sam.
Full filing season finally: The reason for the February rush is that it's the first full month for tax filing.
The Internal Revenue Service typically opens the annual tax-filing season at the end of January. Tax statements are required to be issued until Jan. 31.
That means that for millions of Americans, focus on taxes doesn't really begin until February arrives.
If you're a February filer, this month's tax tips can help you be one and done with your return.
You definitely don't want to be the tax version of Bill Murray's character in the comic actor's iconic film named after February's Groundhog Day, having to fix tax mistakes by re-doing your taxes via an amended return.
And if you've already filed, some of the tax advice here can help you get a head start on your 2020 returns that will be due next year.
Featured then archived: As was the case in January, this month's pieces of tax advice will be highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
After that showcasing, they'll then be saved on this page (just like the one for January) for your tax tip pleasure and reference.
Also as in previous filing seasons, when March and April roll around, those month's tax tips will take their places on the home page, as well as their own consolidated tip collection pages.
OK, enough tax talk. Since pages have already being flipped on February's 29-day calendar, let's get to this month's tax tips!
- 5 winning tax moves for big winners — Did you win any of the latest Powerball lottery jackpot? Or maybe a Super Bowl LIV bet paid off nicely? Then you need to take these steps even before you collect your cash. (Feb. 3, 2020)
- More filers now can get special PINs to fight identity theft — The IRS has expanded its Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) tax identity theft security option. Now filers in 20 jurisdictions can use this special six-digit number to protect their 1040s during the 2020 filing season. (Feb. 5, 2020)
- Schedule 1, the form for reporting much of your income — How did you get your money? If it was more than just wages — for example, things like gig work, investments and gambling winnings — it's still taxable income and must be reported. These amounts (and more) go on Form 1040's revamped Schedule 1, which also has a question for you about your dabbling in cryptocurrency. (Feb.6, 2020)
- Getting a copy of a fraudulent tax return — Were you a tax identity theft victim? You can get a copy from the Internal Revenue Service of the false 1040 filed in your name. Here's how. (Feb. 7, 2020)
- Why your tax refund is late and/or smaller — If you submitted your 1040 on the first day of filing season 2020 and are getting antsy about your tax refund, chill. The IRS says most will be delivered within 21 days or less. But there are some things that could add to that turnaround, as well as cut into the refund amount you're expecting. Here are six such instances. (Feb. 10, 2020)
- Picking the proper filing status — Most folks' filing status stays the same from tax year to tax year. But a change in your personal situation could mean you need to revisit how you file your return. The Internal Revenue Service gives us 5 filing status choices. Pick the proper one. It could make a big difference in your tax bill. (Feb. 14, 2020)
- Self-employed pay payroll taxes, too — Being your own boss has lots of advantages. It also has tax responsibilities, including the payment of self-employment (SE) taxes. This is the independent worker's version of the traditional pay stub payroll tax levies collected for Social Security and Medicare. (Feb. 16, 2020)
- Dealing with a wrong tax statement — If one of your tax statements is wrong, it'll cause an issue when you file your return. Double check those 1099s etc. closely as soon as they show up in your email or snail mail box. Then contact the issuer to solve the discrepancy and, if necessary, get a corrected statement. (Feb. 18, 2020)
- Working around a missing W-2 — Still haven't gotten your W-2? Here are some steps to take to get the annual wage statement. And if those don't work, you can use the replacement document Form 4852 instead to file your tax return. (Feb. 20, 2020)
- Don't make these 10 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 10 common tax filing errors that you can avoid by taking a little extra care when finishing up your Form 1040. (Feb. 24, 2020)
- WOTC business break benefits new hires, too — Looking to expand your permanent payroll? Consider hiring someone who meets the qualifications under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This business tax credit has been extended through 2020. Not only will you provide employment for folks who are having a hard time finding jobs, for example, military veterans, but your business will get a tax break. (Feb. 27, 2020)
- 10 often over-looked tax deductions — Before you file your 2019 tax return, take another look and make sure you didn't miss any of these tax credits and deductions that too many filers ignore. If you qualify for any or all of them, they could keep money in your hands, not the U.S. Treasury. (Feb. 28, 2020)
Again, if you want to review earlier 2020 Filing Season Tax Tips, you can check out January's at the link below.
As for those March and April links, if you're curious you can go ahead an click. Those tax tip pages are live, but for now with a fun GIF instead of tips. Tax info will replace that animated fellow when those months arrive.