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Business and the Economy

Common Tax Errors to Avoid

With the April 17thtax deadline right around the corner, some people might be in a rush to file their tax returns. This frenzy could lead to errors in your return. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe spoke with the IRS and reports on the most common tax errors, as well as the best way to avoid them.

The two most common errors in tax returns might just be the easiest to prevent. According to Michael Devine of the Internal Revenue Service, incorrect or missing Social Security numbers and incorrect filing statuses top the list. After that, the IRS sees many people make errors in calculating their taxable income, while many self-employed taxpayers make mistakes on their withheld estimated tax payments. And the fifth most common tax error? Arithmetic.

Devine says the easiest way to avoid these errors is to file your return electronically. Free e-file is available online to those who make less than 57 thousand dollars a year.

“The chances of making an error on an electronically prepared return are less than one percent. That’s an error that would actually generate a notice from the IRS. If you do it by paper, especially if you wait until closer to the end of the filing deadline, then the error rate on paper returns goes up as high as twenty percent,” Devine said.

Devine urges taxpayers to contact the IRS for help. In addition, the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library and Missouri State University accounting students are offering tax assistance for those interested. You can find more information about these services on our website, For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.