How not to make the most common tax errors on your personal taxes this year.
Whatever you do, don’t submit your taxes with tax errors! That’s easy to say, but harder to accomplish. This is especially true if you’re trying to tackle your tax prep on your own. But fret not, we are here with some simple ways you can avoid making mistakes when you file your personal taxes.
Here are five of the most common tax errors, and how to avoid them:
Tax Error #1: The Wrong Social Security Number
This seems like a simple thing to get right, right? It’s easier than you might think to make a mistake when entering your social security number and even easier to make a mistake entering your spouse’s or your children’s. If you do enter any required social security numbers incorrectly, the IRS will reject your return. When this happens, you must file a form to amend your tax return. All of this takes time and will delay any refund due to you. Make sure you get them right.
Tax Error #2: The Wrong Filing Status
Filing status can be confusing. There’s one if you’re single, two if you’re married, something about being the head of your household, and even one if you’re a qualifying widow or widower. Knowing which filing status is the right one is important, but it’s hard to know for sure which you should choose. Do your research to make sure you make the right selection.
Tax Error #3: The Wrong Math Calculations
Math isn’t everyone’s strong suit, but like your teachers always said, you’ll need math even as a grown up! And your taxes are the perfect example. The smallest errors can impact how long it takes to process your tax return, including your refund if you are eligible for one. Go slowly and check your work.
Tax Error #4: The Wrong Tax Credits or Deductions
Admittedly, the most bewildering and confusing parts of filing your personal taxes are the tax credits and the deductions. The information is overwhelming, and the instructions complicated. How do you know what’s appropriate for you to claim and what’s not? Are there new rules that apply that you aren’t aware of? And what about things like tuition and health care deductions? And don’t even get us started on the available tax credits. Read the forms carefully and read the instructions twice. Don’t make an educated guess, only choose what you know for sure to be accurate.
Tax Error #5: Not Signing the Forms
This one is so straightforward, and yet so commonly forgotten. You’ve done all the work, and now it’s time to submit! But you forgot to sign your name. Ugh. The IRS won’t process your tax return without your signature. Simple as that.
Now that you know some of the most common errors made on personal tax returns, how do you go about avoiding them yourself? The single best way to get your taxes done right, the first time, is by hiring someone to do them for you. Tax professionals have the training, experience, knowledge, and expertise to help you navigate the shark-infested waters that are your annual personal tax returns.
Contact our team at Incompass Tax, Estate, and Business Solutions, your go-to for tax preparation, and avoiding those dreaded tax errors.