Now that it is 2017, tax season is approaching. Here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid in your taxes this year, as well as some other useful tax information.
When are my taxes due?
Generally, the filing deadline for taxes is April 15. However, April 15 falls on a Saturday this year, and Washington D.C. Emancipation Day is being observed on April 17, so this year you have until April 18 to file your 2016 income tax return. Even though you get three extra days this year, you should not wait until the last hour to get your taxes done.
Common Tax Filing Mistakes.
- Misspelled or Different Names – Names should match what the Social Security Administration has on record. Be sure to use your legal name and not a nickname or shortened version. This is a common problem for newly married women who change their surnames but have not alerted the Social Security Administration.
- Math Miscalculations – If you do your own taxes, be sure the math adds up and that all numbers are correct. Using tax software to file can reduce mathematical errors, but you still need to make sure the initial numbers you enter are right.
- Not Reporting All Income – The IRS requires you to claim all income, regardless of whether or not you received a W-2 or 1099. With people doing more freelance work and receiving income from companies like Uber and Airbnb, you need to make sure all income is being reported to Uncle Sam.
- Not Signing – It is likely the easiest part of the filing process, but many people forget this crucial step. The IRS will not process your return without a signature, so be sure to sign or e-sign your tax forms before sending them in.
- Filing Status Errors – Be sure to choose the correct filing status for your situation. There are 5 options: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow/Widower with Dependent Child. If you are unsure of your status, the IRS website has an Interactive Tax Assistant to help you determine this at the link below.