Ten Common Mistakes Tax Filers Make

Don’t you hate that thought of getting your taxes done only to realize later that you make a common mistake that could cost you time or money? The tax code seems to be getting more and more complicated every year (500 changes alone in 2008), and we all seem to be strapped for time these days. Here are 10 mistakes we see taxpayers make all the time which could put a few dollars in your pocket this tax season.

1) If you are single and are caring for an elderly parent, you should investigate seeing if you qualify for ‘head of household’ for your filing status. As a general rule of thumb, you should be paying for 50% or more of the elderly parent’s expenses.

2) You should make sure you have kept track of your charitable mileage that you drove during the year. Eligible miles will have a .14 cents on the mile write off on your tax return if you itemized your deductions.

3) Verify all of the information on the w-2 and/or 1099 information that you get come tax time. If for some reason the information is inaccurate, then notify the issuer immediately so you can get a newly issued document.

4) If you worked for more than one employer during the course of the year, you should check how much money you actually paid into social security to ensure that you didn’t overpay. You should claim a credit for any excess Social Security taxes withheld from your overall wages.

5) If you got a state refund for the prior year, remember that you must include those amounts as income on your federal tax return.

6) If you had expenses during the year such as mileage, meals, and entertainment that were unreimbursed by your employer, consider filling out form 2106 to see if you can deduct those from your tax return.

7) Make sure to include your Social Security number on every single page if you file a paper return. This is also true if you have to send in checks to the IRS for monies owed at the end of the tax year.

8) Taking a home office deduction when your employer already has an office for you.

9) Ignoring the IRS. If the IRS sends you documents regarding any questions about any part of your tax return, make sure you respond to them promptly. Many people believe that it is a good idea to wait for the document for a second or third time. This could cause you undue penalties or interest on money you owe.

10) Your math skills are rusty. So many mistakes are made or overlooked simply from poor arithmetic. Make sure to use a calculator and double or triple check your math. You would hate to have to answer to the IRS just because of poor addition, subtraction, or multiplication.

Visit to www.oxygenfinancial.net  to request a free consultation with the leading financial experts for people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s in the country.

Written by:

Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®

Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc - The Leaders in Gen X & Y Financial Advice

TED JENKIN IS SECURITIES LICENSED THROUGH INVESTACORP, INC. A REGISTERED BROKER/DEALER MEMBER FINRA, SIPC.ADVISORY SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH INVESTACORP ADVISORY SERVICES, INC. A SEC REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISORY FIRM. Linked sites are strictly provided as a courtesy. Investacorp, Inc., and its affiliates, do not guarantee, approve nor endorse the information or products available at these sites nor do links indicate any association with or endorsement of the linked sites by Investacorp, Inc. and its affiliates.

 

About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin has spent the past 23 years giving personal financial advice to thousands of people across the United States. After graduating from Boston College in 1991, Ted spent more than 16 years working for American Express Financial Advisors/Ameriprise Financial. He was one of the youngest people in the history of the company to reach both Field Vice President and Group Vice President level. He managed more than 800 financial advisors throughout 8 states in his last position with the company. In 2008, Ted founded oXYGen Financial to help revolutionize the financial services industry by creating a new company that focused on serving the X and Y Generation. oXYGen Financial now has more than 2,200 clients throughout 25 states across the country many coming from social media techniques. Ted has been featured in over 30 magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and The Huffington Post. He was on the cover of Registered Rep magazine and featured in the ‘what will financial planning look like in 2023’ article done by Financial Planning Magazine. He has six advanced designations from the College for Financial Planning (CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS®, AWMA®, AAMS®, CMFC®) and is an on air radio personality.

One Comment

  • March 20, 2012

    A lot of these tips also ring true for Canadians (^_-) Lots of people making these mistakes.

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