Everyone makes mistakes. It’s all a part of being human. Do we love making mistakes? No; no one really enjoys making mistakes. However, we all do it and we can all learn from them. That’s what makes mistakes so valuable. There is no great success without first failing, making mistakes and learning from them. Everything we do wrong comes with a lesson. It teaches us what does not work, what does work and how we can grow from the experience, and that even applies to filing our income tax returns. Fortunately, most of the mistakes that we make when filing our taxes are not too bad. However, some are. We learn from those mistakes and we don’t make them again. Or, we learn from other people what some of the most commonly made mistakes are when it comes to taxes and we take their lesson and apply it to our own lives.
Filing a paper return
If you are still living in the stone age, carry on. However, most people know better than to file a paper tax return. There’s nothing wrong with it, technically, but it’s not a great idea. For one, you have to wait much longer for your return to be received, accepted and reviewed. This means you’re waiting longer for any refunds you are due. Additionally, sticking your return in the mail means you are leaving so very much of your personal information out there for thieves and criminals to find.
Not checking the numbers
It’s easy to overlook a tax form when you have a few of them. I’ve done it in the past. I have completely overlooked a 1099 from one of my smaller clients. Thankfully, it was a small one and it made very little difference. The IRS didn’t catch that misstate for several years, but I had to pay the taxes on it when they did.
Forgetting that extension
The IRS won’t notice if you failed to file an automatic extension of time, right? You have an additional six months to file your return with one, so they can’t be too upset if you forget to file it on time. That is not true. If you forget to file that extension, you immediately begin paying interest on tax due, plus a penalty. That’s not cheap, and it’s not a mistake you want to make.
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