Planning to tackle your own tax returns in April? It may seem like a good idea for individual taxpayers, but mistakes happen — and they can be expensive. Even the best tax software can’t eliminate potential human error.
If you’re preparing to file your own return, take a second (or third) look to be sure you’re not guilty of making the four most common tax return mistakes.
- Transposed numbers. If the Form 1099 you receive shows $6,300 in income, and you inadvertently enter $3,600 instead, the IRS may interpret it as an attempt to dodge taxes. At best, transposing numbers will slow down your refund and raise red flags. At worst, it could trigger an audit. Be sure to verify every number you enter to ensure accuracy. Your tax software can tell you if your numbers don’t add up, but it can’t catch transposed figures.
- Misspelled names. It’s easy to misspell a name when entering dependent information, but doing so could cause real problems with your return. Double-check the names, ages and Social Security numbers of all dependents before submitting your return.
- Missing Social Security numbers. Don’t assume that your tax prep software will automatically populate your Social Security number. By checking for any missing information before filing your return, you can save yourself easily avoided IRS headaches later on.
- Not reporting all your income or taking too many deductions. It’s important to keep track of all your income and report it to the IRS correctly — not just your W2 wages. Remember, as a taxpayer, it’s your job to be honest and file returns correctly. If you alter a few numbers to get an extra deduction or write-off, the IRS will eventually catch up with you.
Don’t let past mistakes derail your finances
Whether there’s an error on your latest tax return or you have years of unfiled taxes, reach out to the tax specialists at Magone & Company. Call us today at (973) 301-2300 to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation.