Down to the Wire: Avoid these Taxpayer Mistakes

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timerunningoutAs Tax Day approaches, it’s important to avoid costly mistakes. It’s getting down to the wire, and U.S. News & World Report (via Daily Finance) has a list of common taxpayer mistakes to avoid as you prepare your tax return. Before you complete the filing process, double-check your forms to ensure that you are as mistake-free as possible. Here are the mistakes U.S. News warns you to watch out for:

  • Neglecting electronic filing: The more humans that are involved, the greater chance for human error. Cut down on mistakes with the help of electronic filing. And, if you make less than $58,000 a year, you are eligible for free file, which allows you take advantage of major brands.
  • Updating your filing status: You might need to change your filing status if your household has experienced a marriage, divorce, death, or new addition. Don’t forget to update your status and exemptions if you’ve had a major change.
  • Math errors: Triple-check your math. A decimal in the wrong place, or transposing your numbers can result in in mistakes that raise audit red flags. Other errors to watch out for include making sure all Social Security numbers are correctly recorded, and that names match up.
  • Wrong forms: Watch out for filing the wrong forms. Make sure you know which ones you should use, and file them appropriately. If you file a business return as well as an individual return, you need to make sure that you don’t mix things up.

Once you file a tax return with a mistake, it can be difficult to fix it. It’s much better to look things over and do your best to avoid mistakes in the first place.

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Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in financial topics. Her work has appeared in numerous media, online and offline. Her blog is Planting Money Seeds.