Tax Day is gone, but the tax fun keeps rolling along!
Hallelujah! Tax Days 2019 — and yes, Days is correct, since there were two April deadlines this year — are done!
Now it's time to downshift our tax focus a bit.
Sure, some of us got extension to file our 1040s by Oct. 15.
And other will likely discover they need to correct an entry or two and will amend their 2018 taxes sometime this year.
But for the most part, it's time to focus on what we can and should do for the rest of 2019 to limit or reduce this year's tax bill.
It should be a bit easier since we just made it through the first filing season under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) changes.
And since we don't have major deadlines to meet — just make our estimated payments on time over the next few months and, for many of us, finally finish our extended 2018 returns by mid-October — tax matters aren't so hectic.
So the ol' blog has shifted to our annual Weekly Tax Tips.
Once a week through 2019: As in previous years, a new piece of tax advice will be featured each week, usually each Friday. I know, it's a perfect lead-in to weekend tax reading!
And it's still in the upper right corner of the ol' blog.
Many of the items will be for the majority of taxpayers who are done with their tax year 2018 returns and now are looking for ways to trim this year's tax bill.
A few, though, will be aimed at helping those of us who've yet to file get that job done, especially as October nears.
The once-a-week tax tips will continue, as they've done in past years, until 2019 is a wrap. That will be on Dec. 27, the last Friday of this year.
Also, don't be surprised if a stray weekly tip or two also shows up in the opening week/weeks of January 2020 before I transition to the New Year and the return of the 2020 Filing Season Tips.
But wait. I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. There's lots of 2019 left.
So let's get back to this year and the latest round of Weekly Tax Tips. Here goes!
- Missed Tax Day? Do this now — Some folks didn't file their federal taxes on April 15 (or 17). If you're among those who missed the deadline and also neglected to get an extension, you need to make these four tax moves ASAP. (April 17, 2019)
- Tax record keeping tips — Now that you've filed your taxes, it's time to deal with all the materials, either literally or digitally, that you used to fill out your Form 1040. You should keep most of the documents for at least a few years. (April 25, 2019)
- Employee or contractor distinctions — How a job is done makes a big tax difference to both employers and workers. With the trend today toward a gig economy, the variables determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor is even more critical. Here's what the IRS says about making the payroll call. (May 3, 2019)
- How kids can help cut your tax bill — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Harry and Meghan, don't qualify for (or need) them to care for their new son Archie, but these five popular U.S. tax breaks can help us non-royals offset the ever-escalating cost of child rearing. (May 10, 2019)
- Form 1040X gives you a filing do-over — Made a mistake on your 1040? Found a tax break you overlooked? Then Uncle Sam's X file, aka Form 1040X that lets you amend prior filings, can help you get the truth about your taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. (May 17, 2019)
- Time to assess, adjust withholding — With all the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changes, the IRS eased up on underwithholding penalties for the 2018 tax year. That's not happening with our 2019 returns. So now is a good time to examine and, if necessary, adjust how much tax you're having withheld from your paycheck. (May 24, 2019)
- Take a pre-disaster inventory — It's hurricane season again. One of the first moves you should make is taking a pre-disaster inventory of your household goods. It will help you file insurance claims and, if the catastrophe is declared a major disaster, you could also get some federal tax relief. (May 31, 2019)
- Wedding tax tips — Regardless of whether you tie the know in June or some other month, you'll have some tax tasks to take care of once you get back from your honeymoon. Here are 6 tax moves that newlyweds should make. (June 7, 2019)
- Appealing an IRS decision — You and the Internal Revenue Service disagree about what you owe. The tax collector's finding isn't necessarily the final word. You can appeal. Here's how. (June 14, 2019)
- Day camp tax break — School's out for the summer. If you're sending your children to day camp, hold onto the receipts. Not only do these seasonal diversions give working parents some peace of mind about who's taking care of their kiddos now that classes are done, camp costs count toward claiming the child and dependent care tax credit. (June 21, 2019)
- DSIRE-able government help to PACE your summer energy usage — Summer is just beginning, but it's not too soon to think about tuning up your air conditioning system or replacing it with a more energy efficient unit. In some states, PACE loan programs can help. Others types of assistance are tracked by DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. And Congress is looking into renewing a tax credit that would provide a bit of a federal tax break for energy efficient home improvements. (June 28, 2019)
- Maximizing business meal tax deductions — The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act kept, for the most part, the tax deduction for business meals in the tax code. Here's how to make sure you get the most tax benefit from those work-related dining experiences. (July 5, 2019)
- 5 disaster preparedness moves for businesses — Hurricane Season 2019 is underway. We've had two storms so far, with the annual storm number peaking in September. That will be here before your know it. So in addition to making individual storm (and tax) preparation moves, if you're the boss check out these ways to get your business ready for any disaster. (July 12, 2019)
And for all y'all still working on your extension or discovering you need to amend your original 2018 taxes, you can always get filing insights by checking out the 2019 Filing Season Tax Tips that are collected on their own monthly pages: January, February, March and April.