Tag Archives: tax preparation

Last Minute Tax Fun

tax-tips-last-mBy the time next Tuesday’s blog post rolls out on 4/15, it will be Tax Day. So, consider this post to be the Last Minute!

All the helpful writers on money matters are quick to point out that there are plenty of things you can do to grab some last minute tax savin’s. So, if you are one of those of those thrill seekers who puts things off, what we call back in Kansas “Thing Put-er Off-ers” then this is the post for you. We have gathered a bunch of helpful links from around the web for your procrastination pleasure! Please to enjoy, “Last Minute Tax Tips 2014”!!

US News Money: 9 Last-Minute Tax Tips for Procrastinators

TurboTax: Tax Tips After January 1, 2014

Huffington Post: Last-Minute Tax Tips to Maximize Your Savings

Business Week: Last-Minute Small Business Tax Tips for Procrastinators

PC Mag: Tax Tips for Last-Minute E-Filers

Daily Finance: Don’t Panic: 5 Tips for Stress-Free Last-Minute Tax Returns

These look like some bits of sound advice, which is good for you because the only advice I could come up with was either A) Pssh! Blow it off, man!” or B) “You should start panicking, like, NOW!” Anyway, you’re welcome. If you got your taxes done, have a great weekend. If you’re starting tomorrow, have something else!

Tax Prep: DIY or Pro?

6856_ser_121205_TaxPrep1-LDoes it seem like the Do-It-Yourself tax preparation folks are especially aggressive this year? The commercials seem to have changed their tone, from “it’s not that hard, you could probably do it yourself…” to “NOBODY knows your situation better than YOU do, so do it YOURSELF, stupid!!”

So, you may be thinking about DIY tax prep this year and, if so, you probably have some questions. Bankrate.com ALSO has questions that will help you decide whether to DIY or hire a pro.

If you are considering DIY:

  • Do you know your tax situation – filing status, available tax credits and deductions, changing tax laws that affect you, etc.?
  • If you have questions or get stuck, will you know where to get answers?
  • Are you confident that you have kept good records throughout the year?
  • Are you really private and picky about who sees your financial and personal info?

Why you might consider hiring a pro:

  • The whole tax thing freaks you out.
  • You don’t have (or don’t think you have) the time to spend on the preparing your return.
  • You’ve had a major change in your life (kids, job, bought property, moved out of state, etc.) that’s going to complicate the process this year.
  • You think a pro will be able to “get you more money back,” which will cover his costs.

Answer these questions honestly, and it should help you make the right choice. Then, read the rest of this article to find out how to proceed, whichever path you choose. Either way, you want to get it right!

So, which have you done in the past? Are you more comfortable one way or the other? Did you go one way, and then switch? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Nutty but Legitimate Tax Deductions


Tax time approaches, and there is often little to smile about. But if you’re a whaling captain or an accused criminal, and you’re looking for some last minute deductions, you’re in luck! From TurboTax:

Whale Tale: You can claim up to $10,000 for repairs to your whaling ship. The catch is you must be a Native American!

Orthodontic clarinets? A 1962 ruling said that clarinets were helpful in correcting a child’s overbite. So, if you have a prescription clarinet, claim that sucker as a medical expense!

The Dog Paddle Deduction: I have a brother-in-law with a bum knee who has been told by his therapist to swim every day. If that’s you, you could claim your swimming pool as a deduction!

Butts for Bucks: The various tools, tricks and prescriptions for kicking the smoking habit are often deductible.

Volunteer for the Wrong Reasons! If you have to hire a babysitter when you do volunteer work, that’s deductible!

Deductible Defense: Crime doesn’t pay, but sometimes your legal defense is deductible!

Bow-wow Bonus! The cost of a guard dog may be deductible from your taxes. Enough to offset your higher homeowner’s insurance premium? Probably not!!

There are more goofy deductions here. Have you heard of any other weird deductions? And aren’t you glad our tax code is so delightfully simple?