It’s that time of year again! Get ready to break out the calculator and pencils, dig out the enormous pile of receipts, tax forms and pay stubs, and get to work.
Drowning in paper and getting numb from all those numbers? Don’t worry! As soon as you’ve got it all organized and filed, you don’t need to think about your taxes again until next year.
Don’t be too hasty, though. You don’t want to wind up making a mistake that’ll delay your refund, make you accountable for a fee or, even worse, force you to do that dreaded paperwork and math all over again!
Whether you choose to do it alone, use a tax-prep computer program, or hand it all over to an accountant, begin by checking out our handy list of common mistakes people make on their taxes.
1. Faulty Math
A small miscalculation can throw off all your numbers and get you into trouble with the IRS.
2. Name Changes and Misspellings
If you’ve recently changed your legal name, let the Social Security Administration know.
3. Omitting Extra Income
If you’ve taken any side jobs during the year, fill out a 1099-MISC and file it along with your taxes.
4. Recent Tax Law Changes
When preparing your taxes, be sure to file according to the most recent laws.
5. Signing Your Forms
If filing the old-fashioned way, put your signature wherever required. If filing online, you can use a PIN instead.