Filing taxes can be a stressful and daunting process, but that doesn’t mean you have to make mistakes. With a little bit of preparation and knowledge, you can easily avoid the most common tax filing mistakes so that your return is accurate and filed on time. In this blog post, we’ll cover the top five tax-filing blunders—so you can rest assured your taxes are in order!
It is important to double-check your name when filing taxes. The name on your tax return should match the name on your Social Security card. If you misspell your name or don’t use your legal name, it could cause confusion and delays in processing your return. In addition, if you are filing a joint return, make sure the names of both spouses are correct. Startling to discover how many taxpayers misspell the name of a spouse, which can cause additional delays. It’s best to double-check all the names listed on your return before submitting it.
Choosing the Right Filing Status
Choosing the right filing status is essential when filing taxes, as each one provides different benefits. Married couples can choose to file jointly or separately, while single people and heads of households can also file taxes differently. Knowing which one is right for you can save you time and money. Additionally, if you’re married, make sure to use the names on your Social Security cards when submitting your return. This will help avoid any mix-ups that may delay your refund.
Blowing the Basics
It’s important to ensure you’re meeting all the basic requirements of filing your taxes. One of the most common mistakes taxpayers make is missing the deadline, which can have serious consequences. If you have to file after the deadline, it’s important to understand the potential penalties and interest that could be imposed. Another mistake to watch out for is incorrectly reporting income, such as not filing a Schedule C form if you have business income or misstating the amount of income you have received. It’s also important to double-check your work, as the IRS found nearly 2.5 million math errors on returns filed for the 2017 tax year. Taking extra care to make sure all of your information is accurate can help prevent costly mistakes and notices from the IRS.
Wrong or Missing Social Security Numbers
For many people, the most common tax-filing mistake to avoid is getting Social Security numbers wrong. Missing or inaccurate numbers can lead to delayed returns or incorrect payments. It’s essential to double-check each Social Security number on the return before filing, including those of your dependents. Also be sure to verify that the numbers are properly associated with the correct names, just in case there are any typos or transpositions. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides a verification system online for taxpayers to check for accuracy.
Miscalculations in Math
Math miscalculations are one of the most common errors on tax returns. Many taxpayers make mistakes in arithmetic or in transferring figures from one schedule to another. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), there were 2.5 million math errors reported on 2017 returns. To avoid this type of mistake, it is important to double-check your calculations and make sure that you are using the correct numbers. Additionally, make sure you understand how credits and deductions work, so you don’t accidentally overstate or understate them.
Filing taxes is complicated and it’s easy to make mistakes. One of the most common mistakes is incorrect information. This includes misspelled names, wrong Social Security numbers, incorrect bank account information, and incorrect filing status. It’s important to double-check this information before submitting your return to make sure it’s correct. If it’s not, you may face penalties and interest charges from the IRS. In addition, be sure to keep up with any changes in the tax code or new deductions that could help you save money on your taxes. Finally, never exaggerate deductions or credits; this could lead to an audit or other serious problems.
Keeping Up with the News
It’s important to stay up-to-date on the news when it comes to tax filing. Changes in the law can affect how much you owe or the deductions you can claim. Check the IRS website often for updates and know what deductions, credits, and other changes are applicable to you. The IRS also offers many helpful tools and resources to help you with your taxes, such as the interactive Tax Assistant tool. Keep a lookout for email notifications from the IRS, too, so that you don’t miss any important updates. You can also check out our blog as we update it to stay up to date.
Double-Check Your Work
Double-checking your work is one of the best ways to avoid common tax filing mistakes. Taking your time to thoroughly review your return can help you identify and fix any errors before you submit them. From verifying account and routing numbers to making sure any auto-populated information is still correct, double-checking your work is a great way to reduce the risk of errors on your tax return. Additionally, if you do make a mistake, it’s important to be aware of any penalties or interests that could come with it. Be sure to double-check your work and make sure all the information on your tax return is accurate and up-to-date.
Understanding Penalties and Interests
Making a mistake on your taxes can have serious consequences. Not only can it delay your refund, but you may also be charged with tax evasion and incur interest charges. To avoid these penalties and interests, double-check your work before filing and make sure your information is accurate. Additionally, it’s important to keep up with the news and make sure you’re up to date on any changes in tax laws or regulations. Understanding the implications of mistakes can help save you from financial hardship down the line.
Never Exaggerate Deductions
No matter how tempting, it’s never a good idea to inflate deductions in order to get a bigger refund. Always make sure your deductions are backed up with an invoice or receipt, and make sure that you’re only claiming costs that you can actually prove you spent. Otherwise, you may find yourself subject to an IRS audit, which can take a lot of time and energy to resolve. Additionally, remember that all income is taxable unless it’s specifically excluded – so make sure to report any income you receive as accurately as possible.
Based on IRS news article: Common tax return mistakes that can cost taxpayers | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)