Tax season is right around the corner, and those dreaded tax filing mistakes just happen from time to time. You inadvertently put the wrong bank account number or identification number down on your tax return. Maybe the tax software you used messed up on you.
Perhaps you took the standard deduction instead of itemized deductions. While this is not technically an error in the eyes of the IRS, it can be a tax break you might miss out on! Maybe you filed electronically instead of manually as you meant to.
To avoid the common mistakes that people make on April 15, get a tax expert to file your taxes for you! Borshoff Consulting is home to Indiana’s tax expert!
Top Tax Filing Mistakes (What NOT to Do)
1. You do not file your tax return on time.
If you cannot file your taxes by the tax deadline, be sure to file a tax extension! You can easily do this, and it will give you a longer period of time to file your tax return. Keep in mind that your taxes are still due by the deadline, but you can pay estimated taxes if you qualify. Work with a tax professional for more details on how to do this.
2. You file your tax return with missing or wrong information.
Many people mistakenly put the wrong social security numbers on their tax returns. They do not copy the number directly from their social security cards, as they should. Math errors are also common; people calculate the wrong number of tax years when calculating their benefits. Often, the wrong name is even used on tax returns!
3. You did not keep a copy of your previous year’s tax return.
Always keep a copy of last year’s tax return. This will help you or whoever is preparing your tax return file your taxes with the correct information.
4. You miss out on a major tax break.
Common tax breaks include tax credits and tax deductions. These can save you money on your tax return if you qualify for them. Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you are required to pay; tax deductions reduce your taxable income.
It can be tricky to figure out what you qualify for. Be sure to work with an expert if you are unsure as to how to file your tax return. A qualified tax consultant can help you file your tax return the right way.
5. You file your tax return with the wrong form.
It is very common to file a tax return using the wrong forms, schedules, and other additions. It’s best to work with a qualified professional when in doubt.
Learn more about what you can file on Schedule C. This is where many people get tripped up.
6. You use the wrong filing status.
There are five filing statuses: Single, Married filing jointly, Married filing separately, Qualifying Widow(er) with child, and Head of Household. Usually, you do not have a choice as to which filing status to use, but if you are married, it can be tricky. Learn more about which filing status to use if you are married or work with a professional.
7. You do not file a tax return.
Make sure you do not have to file a tax return if you decide not to. Since this can be a tricky thing to determine, you might want to talk to an expert onbackup the subject of taxes! Learn more about how to file your taxes for the first time.
8. You do not sign your tax return.
This simple error is easily avoidable. Just sign your tax return in the appropriate places. Double-check your work before handing it in, just like you did in school. You would hate for the IRS to write you about not signing your tax return!
9. You do not attach the right back-up information.
Make sure you use the right schedules and forms when you file your tax return. It can be hard to determine which forms to use with schedules, as there are many to use. If your taxes are complicated, you should really work with a tax professional.
10. You fail to report all of your income.
This tax error can be especially difficult if you are a professional gambler or have won the lottery. Lottery or gambling winnings are generally taxable, so make sure you understand what you are doing come tax season. Learn more about the lottery and taxes in this article. It will discuss what to do about your winnings.
Also, we have an article about gambling and taxes that goes further into detail on the subject. Winning can be an exciting time, but when it comes to paying taxes on those winnings, it can be rather complicated. It is a good idea to keep a gambling log if you are going to be doing this often!
Learn how to create and manage a gambling diary! This will save you from many headaches come tax time.
The last thing you want is problems with the IRS. You might not even know you made one of the most common errors, as it can take the IRS anywhere from four to six weeks to notify you by mail that there has been a problem with your tax return.
You might have had math errors on your tax return or have used the wrong tax forms. If you’ve already filed your tax return and made an error, you will probably receive correspondence from the IRS. You can work with a tax accountant to resolve these errors and should do so as soon as possible!
To avoid making any tax filing mistakes, you should work with a qualified tax professional. Avoid common tax mistakes by working with a tax preparer with the experience, expertise, and education to help you file your tax return the right way – the FIRST time around!
At Borshoff Consulting, we double-check our work and know we have the experience needed to help you with your tax return. You can trust Sherry Borshoff – Indiana’s tax expert!