Life moves quickly. It’s easy to get distracted. But that can be costly.
Miss an important financial date or deadline, and you could be on the hook for a penalty or lose out on a limited-time opportunity to save money.
Enter our “Money Calendar” series.
In this edition, we’ve rounded up the noteworthy money dates in October 2023. Take a look and mark your calendar with any dates that apply to you. And if you enjoy this series, sign up for the Money Talks Newsletter so you don’t miss the next edition. Look for it on the last weekday of the month.
IRS interest rates increase
Date(s): Starting Oct. 1
The interest rates that the IRS charges individuals and companies for underpaying their taxes are rising for the fourth quarter of the year, as are the rates the IRS pays for overpayments.
For details on the new rates — which are as steep as 8% for individuals and 10% for corporations — check out “Heads-Up: IRS Hikes Penalties for Underpaying Taxes.”
Federal student loan payments resume
Following a lengthy pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest on federal student loans started accruing again in September.
Payments themselves resume in October, with the U.S. Department of Education stating that it will communicate with borrowers before their first payment is due.
Target Circle Week
Date(s): Oct. 1-7
Target will host a Target Circle Week sale during the first week of October, offering “deep savings on thousands of items,” the retailer says. The event is exclusively for members of Target’s loyalty program, Target Circle, but it’s free to join. Visit Target's website to learn more about the sale or the loyalty program.
Amazon’s Prime Big Deal Days sale
Date(s): Oct. 10-11
Amazon will host another holiday sale just for Prime members this October. It’s called Prime Big Deal Days, and like Amazon’s annual Prime Day sale, it will last 48 hours.
Social Security COLA announcement
Date(s): Oct. 12
The Social Security Administration will announce the 2024 cost of living adjustment, or COLA, for Social Security recipients on the morning of Oct. 12.
Open enrollment for Medicare
Date(s): Starting Oct. 15
The fall open enrollment period for Medicare — the federal health insurance program for seniors and people with certain disabilities — starts Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7. If you’re on Medicare, this period is your opportunity to change your health care plan and drug plan for next year.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on Medicare.gov, the official Medicare website. Information about 2024 plans will be available there in October.
Also, round up the following documents, which you should review before deciding whether to change your plan for the new year:
- Evidence of Coverage (EOC): This document includes information about your current plan, such as what it covers and how much you pay.
- Annual Notice of Change (ANOC): This document includes any changes to your current plan’s coverage, cost or service area that will take effect in the new year.
You should receive both of these documents from your current plan in September. If you haven’t received them, Medicare.gov advises that you contact your plan.
Tax return deadline for extension filers
Date(s): Oct. 16
Did you request an extension from the IRS earlier this year, instead of filing your 2022 tax return by April 18, 2023? If so, Oct. 16 is one deadline you do not want to miss — it’s Tax Day for you.
If you live in a disaster area, however, you may have longer. See the IRS’ “Tax relief in disaster situations” webpage to learn more about extended deadlines for taxpayers in these areas.
Nevada National Guard sales tax holiday
Date(s): Oct. 27-29
Purchases of tangible personal property made the last weekend of October by members of the Nevada National Guard or their relatives will be exempt from state sales taxes. To learn more, see the state’s FAQ document about this sales tax holiday.
Tennessee’s grocery sales tax holiday
Date(s): Through Oct. 31
Tennesseans will not be charged sales tax on most foods and food ingredients during a three-month-long state sales tax holiday that started Aug. 1.
The few exceptions include prepared food, dietary supplements, candy, alcohol and tobacco. To learn more, visit the Tennessee Department of Revenue’s webpage about the tax break.
Last day to buy I bonds at current rates
Date(s): Oct. 31
Series I government savings bonds, often referred to as simply “I bonds,” have two interest rates:
- A fixed rate, which remains the same for the 30-year interest-bearing life of an I bond
- A variable rate, which is only good for the first six months you own an I bond, as it resets every six months based on inflation
Currently, I bonds are paying a fixed rate of 0.9% and an inflation-based rate of 3.4% — so a total return of 4.3%. If I bonds are a good fit for your investing goals and those rates sound attractive to you, note that you have until Oct. 31 to buy I bonds at those rates. In other words, you must complete your I bond purchase by then to get those rates.
Come November, the U.S. Department of the Treasury will announce a new fixed rate and a new inflation-based rate, which will apply to I bonds purchased from November 2023 through April 2024. Granted, the new rates could be higher than the current rates, as inflation itself increased sharply in August, so you might be better off waiting until November to buy I bonds.
To learn more about I bonds, check out “7 Things You Should Know Before Investing in I Bonds.”
Open enrollment for many employer plans
If you have health insurance through your employer, the chances are good that open enrollment starts in October or later this fall. If you’re unsure of exactly when it starts, check with your employer so you aren’t caught off guard by it.