Money Talks: most common tax mistakes

Mistakes: something you want to avoid when you drive and when driving that tax return to completion.

Messing up at tax time can wreck a timely refund, cost you a penalty or even result in an audit appearance.

So if you are on your own, avoid common errors.

Most common errors we see are having to do with Social Security numbers," said IRS representative Mike Dobzinski, "Wrong number, no number, misplaced digit.

"Probably number two is having to do with the earned income tax credit, where people don't compute it correctly.

Another common error?


One reason why if you're going at it alone, tax software makes so much sense.

Of course software can TMt look over your shoulder to make sure you sign the check you TMre sending in and the return.

Here's another potential mistake: using a simple form like an EZ, when a 1040A or 1040 would get you a bigger refund.

If you made less than $49,000 last year, there are thousands of places you can get your return prepared free.

So paying a preparer could also be the wrong move.

And one final mistake: failing to file electronically.

"It's faster, it's more accurate, it's convenient," said Dobzinski, "and for those that get refunds, and most people do, you'll get your refund a lot quicker."

A lot of mistakes happen for the same reason: because we wait until the last minute, then we rush through the paperwork.

So don't do that this year.

Get started early.

While you're at it, check out some tips online at Money Talks