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5 Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Deductions, withholdings, credits, dependents -- it's enough to make a non-CPA's head spin. The tax filing deadline is fast approaching, meaning you still have time to make, and hopefully fix, some of the worst mistakes when preparing your taxes.

So before click "File" online or throw that overstuffed envelope in the mail to the IRS, make sure you didn't make one of these common tax filing errors:

1. Incomplete Filing

Did you leave out a deduction or tax credit? Or, if you claimed one, did you forget to include the supporting documentation? While most online tax services are pretty good about making sure you fill out every required field, nobody's perfect and pages of paper filing can be tedious. Make sure you double-check that your filing is complete before submitting it.

2. Incorrect Filing

We all make mistakes, and fortunately you won't go to jail for an honest mistake on your tax filing. But you may face other consequences for mistakes or inconsistencies on your tax filing, like audits or delays in processing.

3. False Filing

Now this is an absolute no-no. While the IRS may have sympathy for an accidental slip-up, you'll find no such slack if you try to intentionally defraud the government. The IRS takes tax evasion and fraud seriously, so it's best to be honest on your tax return.

4. Late Filing

Filing your taxes after the deadline isn't worst thing in the world, so long as you got an extension. But here's the catch: filing late, even with an extension, doesn't extend your payment due date. So if you owe money on your taxes, it's still due on April 15, and late payment could result in owing interest or penalties.

5. No Filing

Ever wonder what happens if you just don't file your taxes? Well, we can give you an idea: the IRS will know (if you ever filed before or got paid by an employer who will), will bill you (with interest and penalties), and might garnish future wages or tax refunds to get paid.

So your best bet is to just pay your taxes on time. Or better yet, contact an experienced tax attorney to help with your tax filing.

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