tax mistakes to avoid

5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Tax Season

Tax Time Troubles

While tax submission for most workers in the UK is managed by their employer, in the US it’s entirely your responsibility. You must know how to file your taxes accurately to avoid delays and penalties. This tax season, we’re here to run you through our top tips on how to file your taxes, as well as identify common mistakes to avoid. Let’s get started.

Top Tips for How to File Your Taxes

Filing your taxes can be daunting, but with these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to having your smoothest tax season ever.

Establish if You Need to File Your Taxes

Not everyone needs to file their taxes. It’ll depend on factors including your income, your age and whether or not you are a tax dependent to someone else. Determining whether you need to file before getting started will save you time if you discover that you don’t.

You’ll need to file if tax was withheld from your paycheck or if you qualify for tax credits. If you don’t think you need to file your taxes, you may decide to do so anyway to discover if you qualify for a tax break.

Determine the Tax Deadline

Most simply, knowing when the tax deadline is means that you won’t miss it. But beyond that, it’ll allow you to establish a good date to get started based on your math ability, attention to detail and patience. If you suffer in any of these areas, you’ll want to get started earlier than other workers.

It’s important to remember that as well as a tax deadline, there’s also a tax opening date each year. The IRS won’t accept forms before the opening date.

Use Software You Can Trust

TurboTax has been supporting people to file their taxes for 40 years. Through their website, you can have an expert complete your tax submission for you. They offer accurate calculations and great customer support.

TaxAct is on hand to help you file your taxes online. They offer a max refund guarantee, expert assistance and accuracy.

Common Mistakes When Filing Your Taxes

Filing your taxes yourself can be a time-consuming process, meaning it’s all too easy to make mistakes. Here we identify five common mistakes and provide tips for how to avoid making them.

Unsigned Forms

It may seem obvious, but many people submit invalid tax forms simply because they’ve forgotten to sign. This isn’t so much of an issue for those who declare their income online as the process requires a signature - but for those submitting a paper copy, this is a widespread mistake. Our rule is to check that you’ve signed and check again.

Premature Filing

A common mistake when it comes to filing your taxes is to do so far too early. While it’s wise to keep the tax deadline in mind to avoid penalties for being late, submitting too early could cost you.

That’s because it’s better to keep money in a high-interest savings account for as long as possible, to maximize the money you can make. Filing your taxes on the due date is the most effective way to boost your income. Just don’t forget that any interest that you earn is taxable too and should be declared.

Incorrect Details

Keeping your details up to date is highly important. Not only will this prevent delays or fines for providing incorrect information, but it’ll also ensure that any refunds you are due reach the correct bank account. After filling in your details, check what you’ve put at least twice more to ensure no errors are made.

Undisclosed Income

Failing to declare all the income you’ve earned during the tax year is a common mistake for many people who believe that only their primary job is taxable. This isn’t the case. Any income you generate during the year is taxed. If you have a full-time job, but also deliver newspapers on Saturdays for example, both need declaring.

Math Errors

Math can be tough, but by taking your time with the sums you’ll ensure that your tax forms are accurate. By starting your forms early, you can take off some of the pressure and check your sums over a few times. Or, consider asking a math-savvy family member or friend to help.

Navigating Tax Season

In conclusion, as tax season approaches, it's crucial to stay vigilant and avoid common pitfalls that could lead to unnecessary stress, penalties, or complications with your filings. By steering clear of the five biggest mistakes highlighted in this guide, you can navigate tax season with confidence and ensure a smoother experience.