Tax Pitfalls To Avoid This Year

Posted on Feb 21 2014 - 10:23am by Joseph Raspolich

Tax

It’s that time again, drum roll, please, for tax season! It comes around every year and with the right moves you can receive a substantial sum from Uncle Sam. However, due to careless errors and overlooked deductions, Americans across the country leave millions of dollars on the table. Students for example, as confirmed by a 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office survey, failed to collect roughly $800 million in tuition related tax breaks. If that much is left uncollected for tuition alone, image the amount you could walk away with!

Calculation Errors

Simple calculation and mathematical errors are the most common mistake when filing. While you may see it as a careless mishap, the IRS takes it pretty seriously.  In certain instances your tax refund may be delayed or even worse, you could receive less than you’re actually owed.

As advanced as technology is, even popular tax software programs are prone to mistakes. It’s best to double check any calculations with your own tools. There’s tons of free tax calculators available online so no need to run out and purchase a high-tech gadget. It’s simply a precautionary measure to ensure the software is doing its job. The last thing you want is to raise a red flag with the IRS or risk getting audited.

Deductions

Tax deductions are often overlooked, as we previously mentioned. Think about it this way—deductions are your way of expressing to the government that you had expenses which need to be recognized. Any contributions to charity or costs related to non-profit donations can also be deducted. What’s more, if you’re in the process of looking for a job you’re able to deduct the costs of travel, documents, and even business cards. (Recommendation: If you’re unsure which other deductions you may be eligible to receive, reach out to Levy & Associates . They’ve have a team of tax professionals on hand to answer specific questions or even general tax inquiries.)

Other commonly missed deductions are:

  • Travel expenses for anyone in the military reserves. If you have to travel for training or any other reservist related activities you can deduct the cost of gas, lodging and even some food.
  • Child care tax credits. There are plenty of child care related deductions especially if you are in the married filing jointly category.
  • Student loans. Even if your parents pay your student loan you are the one who can deduct it. Since you are the one who is liable for the loan you are the one who gets the tax benefit.

Double Check Names and Number

It may seem like a rudimentary suggestion but you wouldn’t imagine how many people incorrectly spell their names, addresses, and even social security numbers. If you just got married and took your spouse’s surname, also be sure to include this on the appropriate paperwork.

These are just a few of the steps you can take to ensure your tax return is filed according to IRS regulations. If you’d like additional IRS tax help, consult a professional agency.

About the Author
Joseph Raspolich