Life and Money
First time filing taxes? Avoid these mistakes.
The tax-filing process can be especially nerve-wracking for first-time filers who are afraid of getting it wrong. And there is a good chance they will. A mistake on your return can slow down a refund or result in a letter from the IRS pointing out the error and asking you to correct it. In some cases, it can even lead to an audit.
Click through to discover some of the most common tax mistakes filers make and learn tips to avoid them.
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Filing a Paper Return
If it’s your first time filing taxes, you might hear that you can pick up tax forms at the public library or download them from IRS.gov. You are better off exploring electronic filing options at IRS.gov or using tax preparation software, though. People who do their taxes on paper are about 20 times more likely to make an error than e-filers, according to the IRS.
If your adjusted gross income is $66,000 or less, you can use the IRS Free File software. Otherwise, you can buy tax prep software such as TaxAct, TurboTax or H&R Block’s products.
“This option not only offers the most flexibility to file on your own time schedule, but e-file with direct deposit is the fastest way to get your tax refund,” said Lisa Lewis, a certified public accountant and tax expert for TurboTax.
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Entering the Wrong Social Security Number
Another common mistake taxpayers make is entering the wrong Social Security number for themselves or dependents,