Tax season 2019 starts in less than two weeks, which means that the IRS will begin accepting paper and electronic tax returns on Monday, January 28, 2019. As no one enjoys taxes, it’s no surprise most of them postpone getting their tax documents prepared until the last possible moment.
Those reading this article may be one of the millions scrambling about trying to track down things such as receipts, financial statements, and other crucial documents in a bid to meet the fast-approaching filing deadline.
However, tax professional warn that the more you rush to get your tax documents prepared, the more likely it is you will make mistakes. Making mistakes when doing your taxes could end in penalties, delay your refund, or even put you at risk of an audit (which no one wants). If you have procrastinated over the last year, you may not be alone. But you still can get everything done before the deadline and with no mistakes if you follow this quick guide.
Don’t Make Mathematical Mistakes
If you’re someone who hates math and pressed for time to get your taxes done, put the calculator away and get online. The Internet is home of hundreds of tax e-filing sites offering a more comfortable, faster, and secure alternative. Furthermore, everything is conducted online so you won’t have to wait forever for at the post office. The most significant advantage to use an e-filing service is that mistakes are eliminated.
Things such as not understand how to work with a tax table or to make mathematical errors are nearly all but taken care of since online tax filing software is designed to catch such mistakes. What is even better to know is that the IRS provides those who make less than $58,000 a year free tax software, as well as free fillable tax forms for those who make over the maximum limit. Companies such a TurboTax and H&R Block offer free simplified tax returns online as well.
Don’t Overlook Income
The IRS requires anyone living in the United States, or they’re a U.S. citizen or resident alien living abroad in another country to pay taxes. You heard that right – even if you’re living in another country, your income is still taxable by the United States. Further, the IRS requires that you claim any income you made the previous year, regardless of what it is or where it came. This applies to those who work for a company and never received a W-2 or 1099 from their employer. Many people fail to disclose income, especially minor things they may have forgotten about or have overlooked while filing at the last minute.
According to Tax Defense Partners, even failing to disclose gambling winnings of various types and amounts can get a taxpayer in trouble with the IRS. And the IRS is very keen in uncovering every little penny you forget or intentionally leave unaccounted.
Missing Out on Credits and Deductions
Another thing that is overlooked when people are rushing to file their taxes is their deductions and credits. Missing such things could mean missing out on hundreds if not thousands of dollars in tax savings. According to the tax service H&R Block, nearly one out of five taxpayers rushing to prepare their taxes either overlook or disregard valuable tax benefits. This error ends up costing the average taxpayer around $460 in deductions or credits from the IRS.
One of the most frequently overlooked credits is education credits. Additionally, there are several other kinds of benefits and aren’t easy to know whether or not one qualifies for them. Some people find it stressful and time-consuming to figure such things, so they overlook them. But the IRS is looking forward to that sort of thinking and also looking forward to every dollar they get as a result.