The lion's share of tax filing season returns.
That wasn't the case for the last two filing seasons. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our real and tax lives, pushing the return deadline into later in the year.
In 2022, however, the Internal Revenue Service, is determined to get back on schedule. Although the federal tax agency still is digging out of a massive, mostly coronavirus created backlog, it is determined that we get our returns to it in April. At least we get a few extra days, until April 18, thanks to the regular 4/15 date falling this year on Emancipation Day.
Since we are again facing the middish-April tax return due date, March is decision time. In keeping with the month's proverbial in like a lion, out like a lamb appellation, we must choose which of those disparate creatures is our tax spirit animal.
If you're a tax lion, aggressively hunting down tax breaks, then you'll find some in the March tax tips below. They should help you go full beast mode on your Form 1040 this month.
If, however, you're a tax lamb, you might be too timid right now to take care of your taxes. If that's ewe — sorry, I couldn't resist — bookmark this page, and the January and February ones before it. Then you can come back here, and the earlier tips pages, when you are ready to meet your filing responsibility.
That bookmarking tip also works if you already know you're going to get an extension and worry about filing — but not paying; you'll send any tax you've estimated you'll owe when you file Form 4868 to get until Oct. 17 (the 15th is on Saturday).
Ditto about the bookmarking if you've already filed, and now are working on cutting your 2022 taxes. Some of the tips will cover this year's tax planning, too. In these cases, you definitely 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 those before, 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!
- 5 tax-cutting March tax moves — We're heading into the heart of tax filing season. Here are five moves you might be able to make this March that could help reduce your 2021 tax bill. (March 1, 2022)
- 12 common filing mistakes to avoid — To err is human. To err when doing your taxes also is all too common. And continuing COVID-created tax law changes offer new challenges and ways to screw up your tax return. Here are a dozen tax errors to watch out for and avoid. (March 4, 2022)
- Don't overlook these 13 tax breaks — Are you still searching for tax write-offs? Here are 13 tax deductions and credits, including some that don't require itemizing, that too many taxpayers overlook every filing season. Missing them could be costly. (March 8, 2021)
- IRS' second TAC Walk-in Saturday is March 12 — If you need to talk with an IRS rep in person about a tax matter, some of the agency's Taxpayers Assistance Centers will be open Saturday, March 12. This is second of four planned special TAC Saturdays. Find the one near you and just walk in, no appointment required. (March 10, 2022)
- Tips for tax filing newbies — Are your filing your first-ever tax return this year? Welcome to the 150-million-plus taxpaying club. These 8 tips for tax newbies could help make your initiation a bit easier. (March 13, 2022)
- Ways to spend your FSA — Medical flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are a great, tax beneficial way to cover uninsured health care costs. But if you don't spend all your FSA funds, you lose the money. Here are some ways to use FSA money if you must do so by the March 15 grace period deadline or, thanks to COVID-prompted changes, later this year if your company allows. (March 14, 2022)
- Going green at home can save tax green — Looking for a different way to celebrate green and save on your taxes this St. Patrick's Day? Be sure to claim on your 2021 tax return any residential energy tax credits that apply to certain home energy improvements you made last year. (March 17, 2022)
- VITA and TCE sites offer free tax help — If you want more than tax software, but can't afford to hire a tax professional, check out Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE). These IRS-sanctioned, volunteer-staffed programs can help eligible taxpayers prepare and e-file their returns for free. (March 18, 2022)
- Open a bank account to get tax refund faster — The Internal Revenue Service prefers directly depositing taxpayer refunds. It's faster and safer. If you don't have a bank account, but want one where the IRS can electronically remit your refund — and any future tax-related payments, like the COVID-19 economic impact payments — check out the options available for the unbanked. (March 22, 2022)
- Tracking down your tax refund — Most taxpayers, as soon as they file their annual returns, they ask the same question: When will I get my tax refund? You can track its progress to your back account using the Internal Revenue Service's online Where's My Refund? tool. (March 25, 2022)
- Time running out to claim 2018 tax year refunds — If you didn't file a tax year 2018 return three years ago and missed out on a refund back then, you've got until this approaching April 18 Tax Day to get that old paperwork to the Internal Revenue Service. If you miss the deadline, Uncle Sam gets to keep your money. Also, check out how much unclaimed, potentially forfeited refund money is available in your state. (March 26, 2022)
- April 1 is RMD deadline for some — If you turned 72 in the last half of last year and postponed your first required minimum distribution, known as an RMD, from affected retirement accounts, your deadline is this Friday, April 1. No fooling. (March 29, 2022)
Looking for some more tax tips? Then click on the links below to see what was featured that month. One warning, though, in the months yet to come, which right now is April through December, you won't find any tips.
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.