Did you know that when doing your taxes by hand, you’re 41 times more likely to make an error?
We’d like to say that the risks for mistakes with your taxes end there. But the truth is there is still plenty has room for tax mistakes to occur. The good news is once you’re aware of them, you’re less likely to make them or repeat them this upcoming tax season.
Want to make sure this next tax season goes off without a hitch?
Be aware of these seven common tax mistakes and how to avoid them.
The Key to Avoiding Tax Mistakes
To err is human, right? If only the IRS felt that way.
While researching, applying tax tips, and keeping receipts can all help reduce the risk of mistakes occurring, giving yourself ample time and avoiding the need to rush is the best way to avoid mistake.
The next best thing you can do is the hire a professional tax expert that can assist you with all of your filings next tax season. The right tax professional has years of experience and can give you sound and realistic advice on how to proceed with your tax filings.
1. Forgetting About Past Income
Whether it was a single freelance job or an employer that forgot to send you your W-2 or 10999, you’re still responsible for disclosing any and all income that was received within the year.
Often taxpayers will forget or overlook a one-off job that they see is trivial. However, the IRS still accounts for the smaller jobs, and they add up in the long run when penalties and interest are added.
2. Not Checking Your Math
Another reason not to leave your taxes to the last minute?
Scrambling to do the math on your own and making errors in the process.
While you may think you received great marks in algebra, that doesn’t necessarily mean you fully understand how to apply a tax table or are aware of how new tax write-offs come into play.
Our advice is not to risk it and work with a professional who does the math for a living.
The last thing you want is to discover that you owe more than you thought and need to pay even more on your next set of taxes.
3. Forgetting to Cross Your T’s and Dot Your I’s
While it may seem like a trivial error, one of the most common tax mistakes that gets made is providing an incorrect social security number or not signing in a spot where you needed to.
We get it. When all things are said and done, you’re so grateful to be done with the tax process you forget the simple things. This is why it’s best to have someone there to check into the small details.
The good news is, when it comes to these minor errors, the IRS will typically contact you without any additional fees or penalties.
4. Leaving Out Credit
Filing your taxes in a hurry also means you have a higher likelihood of leaving money on the table.
In fact, you can be paying thousands more than you need to by simply forgetting to include the deductions and credits that you’re entitled to.
Not sure which credits apply to your tax filings?
Speak with a tax professional to see if anything from education credit to childcare benefits apply to your situation.
5. Not Asking for an Extension
While the IRS would love for you to send in your taxes on time, they prefer correct rather than rushed — which is why it’s always in your best interest to request an extension if you think you’re not going to make it in time.
This can ensure that you have the time needed to avoid leaving out any deductions or making simple errors that can cost you more money in the long run.
6. Not Fully Understanding Extension Rules
This mistake goes hand-in-hand with mistake number five.
Just because you’re filing an extension doesn’t mean you’re given a free pass. You’re still expected to have your owed taxes in by April 15th. This is a common mistake made by taxpayers and one that often results in penalties.
When in doubt, ask for help. Not only will it get done in a more timely matter you’re also more likely to avoid simple errors.
7. Choosing Machines Over People
In our tech-savvy world, it may be tempting to turn to software or websites to do your taxes for you.
However, this leaves many questions unanswered, robs you of the customer service experience, and can still lead to errors in the long run.
Rather than rely on a machine, speak with a professional that can understand every aspect of your financial situation and can help you narrow down the best options for your tax filings.
Say Goodbye to Tax Mistakes
Often, avoiding tax mistakes is a simple as having the right professional support behind you.
Whether you’re getting a head start on tax season or have once again left it to the last minute, working with a qualified tax group is the easiest way to get the most money back on your taxes while avoiding penalties and fees.
Still not sure how a tax group can help you?
Contact us today for a rundown on how our services can make this your best tax season yet. We’re here 24/7 to answer your tax questions and provide you with the assistance you need.