Tax season is a stressful time in many people’s lives. You’ve got to make sure every form is filled out perfectly, you’ve calculated everything correctly, and there’s not a single mistake on your return. This is often easier said than done.
That said, with a little planning and preparation, doing your taxes can be made a little bit easier. In order to prevent you from making the same old missteps, this guide outlines some of the most common mistakes in tax preparation seen the by IRS. Read on to learn what not to do when tax season rolls around.
1. Missing the Deadline
Believe it or not, this is one of the mistakes made most often when it comes to tax preparation. Barring special circumstances, the tax payment deadlines fall at the same time each year, and yet somehow it seems it’s tricky for many people to meet. To avoid this happening to you, make sure you’re organized, stay on top of your taxes throughout the year, and set yourself plenty of reminders in the run-up to tax season.
2. Making Simple Clerical Errors
Human error is a thing. Of course, everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but when this happens on your tax forms, the consequences can be undesirable, to say the least. Avoid little mistakes by making sure you proofread your return thoroughly (several times) before sending it in.
3. Calculating Incorrect Taxable Income
Unfortunately, mistakes in calculating your taxable income are something the IRS has little tolerance for. Because of this, you want to make sure that you complete this important task without any major mistakes. If you’re too confused by the whole process, you may want to hire tax advisory services to help you out.
4. Claiming Deductions Without Documentation
It’s natural that you want to claim all of the deductions for taxes you can on your return. But if you do this without including the necessary documentation to back these up, it’s a big no-no. Always make sure you’ve got supporting documentation for everything you’ve claimed—and keep copies of all of your tax preparation documents.
5. Forgetting to Sign Your Return
Another mistake that’s made a surprising amount is when a person forgets to sign their return altogether. This is a classic example of falling at the final hurdle—even if everything you did up to that point was perfect. This is such a small reason to have your filing rejected, so again, make sure to proofread everything multiple times!
6. Mailing It to the Wrong Address
It often happens that a person will mail their completed return to the wrong processing center. Carefully read the instructions given and make sure you’re mailing your return to the correct address. You can also file online to avoid this kind of mistake.
Simple Mistakes in Tax Preparation
Most of these issues are so simple to make and seem small but can have a big effect on your tax filings. Take plenty of care with your tax return so you’ll avoid these mistakes in tax preparation. If you’re looking for more financial advice, check out the rest of our content now.