The lion's share of filing season is here.
Traditionally, the third month of the year is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.
But savvy taxpayers know they need to be in full beast mode for all of March's 31 days. That's because this is the last full month of the annual tax filing season.
Whether you're getting started on your Form 1040 or finishing up the return or still just thinking about doing your taxes, this month's filing season tips can help.
Tax planning, too: If you have already done your annual tax duty, we salute you. We're also a bit jealous.
With your 2020 return out of the way, you industrious taxpayers can take more of a lamb approach in March, calmly exploring ways to make next year's filing season even easier and less costly.
Regardless of whether you're a tax lion or lamb, the pieces of tax advice in March, as with January's and February's tips before them, will be highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
After their time in the spotlight, the March tips then will be permanently ensconced on this page.
Since I know you're raring and roaring to get at 'em, here they are!
- Working from home due to COVID-19 isn't tax deductible — You've been working from home (WFH if you're sharing your experiences on social media). It's helped keep you and your family safer during the coronavirus pandemic, but does it also provide a tax deduction? For most WFH employees, the unfortunate answer is no. (March 2, 2021)
- Decoding your W-2 — If, like most taxpayers, you have a salaried job, you need your W-2 wage statement to file your tax return. But this document also has lots of information in addition to how much you made and how much in various taxes you paid last year. Here's how to make sense of all those boxes on your W-2. (March 5, 2021)
- Medical FSA spending tips — Some medical flexible spending account (FSA) owners have until March 15 to use and not lose this tax-advantaged workplace benefit. Others, thanks to a COVID-19 law change, have even longer. Whatever your account's deadline, here are six FSA spending suggestions. (March 12, 2021)
- IRA contribution could reduce your tax bill — If you're looking for a way to lower your 2020 tax bill, looking ahead to retirement might help. Putting money into a traditional IRA might be tax-deductible. And you have until the upcoming filing deadline to make a contribution for the prior tax year. (March 17, 2021)
- Tracking the 3rd COVID-19 economic relief payment — The Internal Revenue Service has delivered 90 million of the coronavirus relief payments authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that became law on March 11. If your advance tax credit rebate wasn't in this first batch, here's how you can check on its status. (March 21, 2021)
- Creating your online IRS account — If you're claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit but can't remember how much of it you got in advance as an economic impact payment last year, you can find out by checking your taxpayer account at IRS.gov. Here's how to access it. (March 23, 2021)
- Where's Your Refund?!? — Sure, the IRS is backlogged with 2019 and now 2020 returns. And sure, the IRS now has to handle a 3rd COVID payment. But you filed early early this year because you're getting a tax refund! Where the heck is it?!? Find out with IRS' online refund tracking tool. (March 27, 2021)
- Summer camps and the child care credit — More summer camps are welcoming youngsters this year. That's good news for parents who want to unglue their kiddos from computer screens. It also could count next tax filing season toward the child and dependent care tax credit, which has been enhanced for the 2021 tax year. (March 29, 2021)
Looking for more tax tidbits? All the Tax Tip page links below are live. If, however, you click on a month later in the year, you'll be greeted by a fun GIF of a man enthusiastically telling us to slow down, or Whoa Up! as we say here in Texas, instead of Internal Revenue Service and tax code tips.
I know you want to see him, so go ahead and click on December. I promise that tax info will replace that animated fellow when the calendar finally flips to the remaining 2021 months.