5 Common Mistakes Made On Tax Returns

Posted by: Brookside Admin

Thanks to tax preparation software and other helpful guides, filing your own return is becoming more realistic for the average citizen. But just because you have the tools doesn’t mean you should be doing the job yourself anymore than doing a plumbing or electrical project yourself.  Remember, filing your taxes incorrectly could mean you miss out on the full refund you're entitled to, or worse you could be audited. Tax preparation can be complicated and remember everyone’s situation is unique.  We are experienced at this and hiring a professional can save you time too.  Our preparation rates are reasonably priced so give us a call, we would love to work with you. At BankRate, Kay Bell put together a list of common tax-filing mistakes made by non-professionals. These mistakes cost you money. 

  • Bad Math

When it comes down to it, a majority of your tax return is a math problem. You have to add and subtract correctly, then transfer numbers to the correct fields. Failure to do so successfully results in potentially costly errors. While tax software does much of the math for you, it can't help you if you start with incorrect figures. Making a mistake when entering numbers or putting in the wrong figure at the wrong time will completely doom your return. 

  • Figuring Deductions

You're likely entitled to multiple deductions on this year's tax return, but how can you be sure you correctly file for all of them? If you do happen to include all your deductions, you still may make errors in correctly figuring the amount of your benefits or credits. It takes a tax professional to spot potential deductions and to file for them correctly. 

  • Name Mistakes

The IRS will be closely monitoring each return looking for errors. That doesn't just apply to numbers, however. Mistakes made with names of your spouse or dependants could also be troublesome. This becomes a problem when a child has a nickname, or goes by a middle name, or for recently married or divorced spouses. The names on your tax forms should match what's on file with the Social Security Administration. 

  • Additional Income

If you worked a side job, or as a contractor, you have additional income to report on your taxes this year. It's a similar situation for savings and investment accounts that have yielded interest or profits. The IRS has been made aware of these additional earnings through 1099 forms and is expecting to see them claimed on your return. If they're not, you could be facing penalties. 

  • Missing the Deadline

This sounds like the most basic of tax mistakes. Your taxes generally have to be filed by April 15th unless you file for an extension. Regardless, a deadline is coming eventually. Getting your return in to the IRS before the deadline sounds easy, but sometimes life gets in the way. If you're filing your taxes yourself, there's no one else to hold you accountable. Hiring a professional also means hiring someone to keep you on schedule and ensure that your return is in not just on April 15th, but well before. 

Some tax return mistakes are easily avoidable once you know what to look for, but others aren't so obvious. At Brown Kinion and Company, we work with our clients to ensure that their returns are done correctly and filed on time every year. For help with your return, call us today