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Other April 18 tax tasks

By Kay Bell · Bankrate.com
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Posted: 1 pm ET

With the April 18 filing deadline bearing down, I know you're focused on your 2010 tax return. But some of us have a couple of extra tax tasks to take care of by Monday, too.

Are you looking to reduce your tax bill by deducting a traditional IRA contribution? You need to get that money into the account by April 18. If you're mailing the contribution, check with your account manager as to what the company uses as the contribution deadline date.

The mutual fund that's home to my IRA, for example, says it goes by postmark. But make sure. If you file a tax return with the 2010 IRA deduction and then your retirement account shows that the money was credited toward the 2011 tax year, you'll have problems.

Remember, only a traditional IRA will get you a tax deduction, but you also can contribute to a Roth IRA for the 2010 tax year by April 18.

If you're self-employed and have a SEP-IRA account for that income, you can buy yourself some added contribution time by getting an extension. Unlike with regular IRAs, with an extension to file, SEP-IRA owners can make deductible contributions for the 2010 tax year up until Oct. 17, says David Frisch, adjunct instructor at the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Speaking of self-employment, if you have income from your own business or other income on which withholding isn't collected, such as investment earnings or gains from an asset you sold, you probably pay estimated taxes.

And the first estimated tax amount for 2011 is due on April 18.

Finally, if you didn't file a tax return for the 2007 tax year and were due a refund back then, you have until Monday to get that old 1040 into the Internal Revenue Service. After that date, the U.S. Treasury gets to keep your money.

I know this is a lot to think about and time is short, but if you miss out on any of these tax responsibilities or opportunities, it could cost you.

Bankrate's Tax Guide 2011 has tips to help you accomplish all your pending tax tasks. Our free Daily Tax Tip newsletter continues through Monday.

And if you just can't finish your 2010 return by Monday, file Form 4868 for a six-month extension. Bankrate will be here through that October deadline and beyond. And our Daily Tax Tip newsletter will become a Weekly Tax Tip alert to help you finish your 2010 tax tasks and make tax-saving moves in 2011.

You also can follow me on Twitter at @taxtweet.

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