September Tax 'To-Dos' While Enjoying The Pretty Colors

Autumn + Taxes = Summer is officially over.

Autumn + Taxes = Summer is officially over.

We're counting on you, September, with your promise of cooler temperatures, awesome colors and return of routines, like the kiddos' going back to class, to get us to a better place. Among the things to think about as fall nears is, of course, taxes.

Here are a few quick tax tasks to consider this month.

File your 2016 taxes: Millions of other taxpayers who got extensions have yet to file their 2016. Yes, you have until Oct. 16 this year (the 15th is on Sunday) to send in your 1040.

But why wait? Getting that annoying paperwork out of the way is a key goal. Plus, there are other reasons, three to be exact, as to why you should file your extended tax return before the ultimate deadline.

Make your third estimated tax payment: One tax-due date has not changed. The IRS wants your third estimated tax payment for the 2017 tax year by September 15.

If you've already been making estimated tax payments this year, you're already familiar with the four 1040-ES due dates and the income periods they cover.

But if it's a new tax task for you, the table below has the details, as does this earlier post with the scoop on filing estimated taxes.

 Payment Due Date* - For income received in

  1. April 15-  Jan. 1 through March 31
  2.  June 15- April 1 through May 31
  3. Sept. 15 - June 1 through Aug. 31
  4. Jan. 15 of next year - Sept. 1 through Dec. 31

*If the 15th is on weekend or federal holiday, the estimated payment is due the next business day.                   

Do your education tax breaks homework: September is a long-awaited month for parents. It's when they get to send the kids back to school.

But school costs at all levels can be problematic. That's why moms and dads need to study up on the educational tax breaks that can help.

They range from the Coverdell Education Savings Account's option to pay for some elementary and secondary school expenses (like computers) to the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can help cover many college costs, including textbooks.

Watch the weather: Hurricane Harvey's aftermath ushered in this month, but — don't shoot the messenger! — more tropical storms could be on the way. September is traditionally the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

So if you live in a hurricane prone area — and realistically, that's just about anywhere given the way the storms move inland — you need to get ready for a possible hit now.

So, put the flip-flops back in the closet, but enjoy this beautiful time of year. For real.