It's finally May, aka April, according to the 2021 tax-filing calendar.
About two weeks into this month, Tax Day 2021 finally arrives. That, in case you've forgotten — and if you did, please share your secret for escaping constant tax thoughts, even briefly — is Monday, May 17.
If you've been periodically checking the ol' blog's posts and tips atop the right column, you've got a handle on your filing. So now is the time to get to it.
Or if other things had priority, it's time to consider filing for an extension. That will give you until Oct. 15 to send in your 1040. Don't forget, though, that you've still got to get the Internal Revenue Service any 2020 tax year money you owe by May 17, or you'll end up also owing interest and penalty charges.
Then, on April 18 (if you're done with your 2020 taxes), we shift to fully focusing on 2021 tax planning and moves.
Combination tax tips: Because of this month belated crossover, a lot of tax tips and posts you might have seen earlier in this tax season will reappear here.
They will be joined by some post-filing tips for all y'all industrious filers who got your 1040s to the IRS before the May deadline.
And, of course, there will be some tips to help get a head start on our 2021 returns.
Hopefully, this May mashup of tax tidbits will help us get through 2021's extended filing season. As with the tips from January through April, the latest featured one is highlighted in the upper right corner of the ol' blog. After each tip has its time in spotlight, it will join all the other May tips here on this page.
But before we can pop the bubbly and celebrate the delayed conclusion of the 2021 filing season (for most of us), we've got to get through the next two weeks.
Since the deadline is getting ever nearer, as noted by the countdown clock also over in the ol' blog's righthand column, let's get to it!
- 2020 tax return filing checklist — You put off preparing your 2020 tax return until now, just weeks before the COVID-postponed May 17 tax filing deadline. Don't panic. This filing checklist can help you fill out your Form 1040 correctly, as well as ensure you don't miss any tax-saving deductions or credits. It also could help keep you from becoming a tax audit target. (May 1, 2021)
- 7 tax moves to make in May — May is here, the month that our 2020 tax returns finally are due. May 17 to be precise. If you just can finish your 1040 by then, then file for an extension. Those are just 2 of 7 tax moves to make this month. (May 3, 2021)
- 10 overlooked medical tax deductions — Got medical expenses? Enough of them could make itemizing worthwhile. Here are 10 often overlooked deductible health care costs that could help bulk up your Schedule A and cut your tax bill. (May 4, 2021)
- 23 tax deductions that don't require itemizing — Most taxpayers don't itemize, especially since tax law changes back in 2017 created larger standard deduction amounts. But standard deduction filers still can claim some write-offs directly on Form 1040 Schedule 1. These possibilities, formerly known (apologies to Prince) as above-the-line deductions, total 23 and include such popular write-offs as educators' out-of-pocket expenses, contributions to IRAs, and interest paid on student loans. (May 7, 2021)
- Share your mother's love with other moms — Sure, you sent your mom a nice present for Mother's Day. But you can give her some recognition and help other moms who need some extra assistance. Donate to one of the many women- and family-focused charitable groups in your mother's name. Your donation also might provide you a tax deduction gift on your return next year. (May 9, 2021)
- 6 homeowner tax breaks — Owning a home can be hassle, but many still want this part of the American Dream. And for some owners, the tax code can help with residential tax breaks. Here are 6 of the more popular homeowner tax benefits. (May 10, 2021)
- 5 tax tasks to take care of by May 17 — The big tax task for May 17 is, of course, filing your tax year 2020 Form 1040. But here are 5 other potentially tax- and money-saving moves that should be on your Tax Day 2021 to-do list. (May 11, 2021)
- Saver's Credit is a bonus retirement tax break — Saving for retirement? You might be able to get an added tax break for doing so. The Saver's Credit could be worth up to $1,000 in tax savings for some lower- and middle-income taxpayers who add to their nest eggs. And some lawmakers are looking at simplifying and enhancing this tax break. (May 12, 2021)
- Don't make any of these 12 tax filing mistakes — Yes, you're not mistaken. You did see this tax tip back in April. But since so many folks put off filing until the last minute, which is almost here, it's worth a rerun to remind you of a dozen tax errors you want to avoid. Don't make any of them as you work on getting your 1040 done and in by May 17. (May 13, 2021)
- Don't overlook these 12 tax breaks — Are you still searching for tax write-offs as the filing deadline nears? Here are a dozen tax deductions and credits, including some that don't require itemizing, that too many taxpayers overlook every filing season. Missing them could be costly. (May 14, 2021)
- 10 last-minute tax filing tips — Still working on your 2020 tax return? Check out these 10 tips which could help you get it done by Monday's May 17 filing deadline. Text (May 15, 2021)
- File for you 2017 refund by May 17, 2021, or forfeit your money — If you didn't file a tax year 2017 return three years ago and missed out on a refund back then, you've got until May 17, 2021, to do so. If you miss this year's deadline, Uncle Sam gets to keep your money. Plus, a state-by-state look at these potentially forfeited refunds. Text (May 16, 2021)
- How to get more time to file — Time to file your 2020 tax return is almost gone. If you just can't finish your Form 1040, file Form 4868 to get five more months to finish your taxes. Just be sure to pay any tax you owe when you get your extension. (May 17, 2021)
- Didn't file on May 17? Do this now! — So you missed Tax Day. It happens. Don't panic. But don't dawdle. Here are some post-filing tax moves to make as soon as possible to limit any penalty and interest charges that started accruing at 12:01 a.m. May 18. Plus, for all who did file on this year's delayed Tax Day, the IRS commissioner says thanks. (May 18, 2021)
- Tax record keeping tips — Now that you've finished filing your tax return, it's time to deal with all the material that helped you fill out your 1040. Here's what you need to keep and for how long. These 7 record-keeping questions and answers also can help you create a tax document storage system. (May 24, 2021)
- Paying for college should be a family affair — Ever-increasing college costs mean the whole family should be involved in paying for higher education. That includes the students, their parents, and everyone's favorite relative, good ol' Uncle Sam with his many types of educational tax breaks. (May 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.