Common tax mistakes people make on Tax Day

How to avoid these mistakes
Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 19:39:21-04

As the tax deadline draws near, some are rushing to file their tax return.

Certified financial planner Tony Drake says there are a couple of common mistakes people make when filing.

"Sometimes something as simple as transposing a couple numbers. You mean to write down 2,500 and you put down 5,200," he said.

That simple mix-up of numbers can make a big difference, either on your return or what you owe.

Drake says another common mistake is not signing the return even if you're filing electronically.

"A huge mistake we see with married people filing jointly is you forget to have your spouse sign it, so don't forget to do that,” he said. “That's really going to hold up your return and could really cause a lot of problems."

If you don't think you'll get your taxes filed by midnight Tuesday, Drake says you should file an extension.

"There's a lot of misconceptions about filing extensions,” he said. “The IRS doesn't frown on it at all."

Also, if you think you're going to owe the IRS, make a best guess at what you owe and pay it before the deadline.

"If you don't you're going to face penalties and interest charges. So it's really important you estimate that and get that turned in," Drake said.

One way to reduce what you owe is to contribute to your IRA. If you're not phased out due to income limitations you can contribute all the way through the tax date. It counts for last year's income.

If you're getting a return Drake recommends you get it deposited directly into your account but be sure to double and triple check your routing and bank numbers.

"If you transpose any numbers the IRS has no process to fix that. Once the money is sent to someone else it's simply gone."

Taxes are due by midnight Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

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