February is for doers … of taxes
Ah, February. You're the shortest month of the year, but your 28 days are so full.
There's Groundhog Day and Valentine's Day and Washington's Birthday and this year Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.
The biggest sporting event, and gambling day, in the United States arrives on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12.
There's a week celebrating Jell-O. Really!
And, on a more substantive note, all of February's days are dedicated to Black History and extolling the many integral accomplishments of African Americans to our country.
Somewhere in there, we've also got to shoehorn some tax considerations.
I'm not sure Marc Parent was thinking of taxes when he wrote,
"If January is the month of change,
February is the month of lasting change.
January is for dreamers.
February is for doers."
But it fits, which is why the lightly annotated last line heads this page.
Second month, first in tax attention: February is the first full, albeit short, month of the annual tax season. It's when most of us begin to really focus on our taxes.
The myriad documents we need to file our 1040s finally show up (we hope!). Refunds start going out to early filers.
Those tax matters are why we have the monthly tax tips. February's collection is designed to help you take care of your taxes while you also navigate all the other more fun February events.
Most of the featured February advice will focus on filing the 2022 tax return you're working on now. But there also will be a few tax tidbits to help you get an early start on reducing your already accruing 2023 tax bill.
As always, this month's tax tips will be highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog. After their time in that spotlight, the tips then will be permanently ensconced on this page.
Since we only have 28 days, let's get February's fabulous tax tips started!
- Open a bank account to get your tax refund sooner — You'll get your federal tax refund much sooner if you have the Internal Revenue Service directly deposit it into a bank account. If you don't have an account at a financial institution, here are some options to help you set one up before you file. (Feb. 1, 2023)
- When to amend a tax return — The Bill Murray movie "Groundhog Day" is a classic. Most of us have watched it, true to the film's conceit, over and over and over. Sometimes a re-do is warranted with taxes, too. Here are 8 tips if you find you need to file Form 1040-X. (Feb. 2, 2023)
- Tax moves to make in February 2023 — February is the month when most of us focus on, or at least begin thinking about, our annual tax filing responsibility. Here are some tax moves to help with the completion of your Form 1040 in this shortest month of the year. (Feb. 5, 2023)
- IRS TACs holding special Saturday hours for walk-ins — To help taxpayers who can't make a weekday appointment at an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC), the tax agency will open some of them across the country on four upcoming Saturdays nationwide. The first Saturday TAC sessions will be this weekend, Feb. 11. The other special openings will be on March 11, April 8, and May 13. Best of all, no appointments needed at any of the TAC Saturdays. (Feb. 8, 2023)
- Refunds from e-filed 1040-X forms can be directly deposited — Correcting errors on a tax return filing sometimes can produce a new or larger refund. And if you e-file that Form 1040-X, now you can have your amended filing refund directly deposited. (Feb. 10, 2023)
- State relief payments issued in 2022 are federally tax free — There's good federal tax news for residents in 21 states who last year got some financial relief from their states. The IRS has determined that the stimulus payment amounts are not subject to federal tax. (Feb. 12, 2023)
- Signs married couples should file separate 1040s — Valentine's Day is for lovers, but when it comes to taxes, sometimes couples need to go their own ways. Here are 6 signs married couples should consider filing separate tax returns. (Feb. 14, 2023)
- Reporting gambling winnings on your taxes — Did your Super Bowl LVII bets pay off? Congratulations to you and the Internal Revenue Service. Gambling proceeds are taxable income. Here's how to report your good luck next filing season. The same process works for gambling income you got last year and need to report on your 2022 taxes by April 18, 2023. (Feb. 15, 2023)
- 24 tax deductions that don't require itemizing — You don't have to itemize to get tax deductions. There are two dozen possibilities found on Form 1040's Schedule 1. Officially known as adjustments to income, these still nicknamed above-the-line deductions can help all filers, both standard deduction claimants and those who fill out Schedule A, reduce their income. And that then could lower the tax bill they ultimately owe Uncle Sam. (Feb. 16, 2023)
- IRS notices do's and don'ts — You filed your tax return. Now the Internal Revenue Service has questions about your Form 1040. While hearing from the tax collector about your return is always a little unnerving, it doesn't necessarily have to be a big deal. But neither should you ignore the correspondence. Here are 9 tips on how to deal with an IRS tax notice. (Feb. 17, 2023)
- Document uploads now an option for some tax notices — The IRS has some good news for taxpayers dealing with certain tax notices. It's now letting you upload information that can more quickly help resolve these correspondence audits. So far, the IRS has limited the online answer option to just 9 notices, but the agency says it is working on expanding digital resolution to many more tax situations. (Feb. 18, 2023)
- Reporting your other income on Schedule 1 — If you got more than wage or salary income detailed on Form W-2, you still need to report that other income to the Internal Revenue Service. That's done on Form 1040's Schedule 1. Here's a look at that tax form and what goes where. (Feb. 22, 2023)
- Toasting taxed margaritas — Did you raise a margarita to toast the cocktail's national day on Feb. 22? Or on any other of the 364 days? Here's a look at the federal and state alcohol taxes that are part of that tequila-based beverage's recipe. ¡Salud! (Feb. 24, 2023)
- State tax filing time, too — Most U.S. taxpayers have to do double duty on Tax Day, since 42 states and the District of Columbia levy state (and, in some places, local) personal income taxes. Most of these jurisdictions also follow the Internal Revenue Service Tax Day schedule, meaning all these forms are due this year on April 18. (Feb. 28, 2023)
Looking for some more tax tips? Then click on the January link below to see what was featured last month.
And yes, you can click on the March through December links, too. They are live. But they don't have any tips yet because, well, they're not here.
Instead, you'll be greeted by an animated nay-saying fellow making good use of one of my favorite Texas sayings. Tax info will replace that fun and folksy GIF as the months arrive.
Don't worry. The rest of 2023's months and tax tips will be here before you know it, and for many of us, before we're ready to file our 1040s! Time really does fly when you're having tax fun.