Money Talks News: Tax Hacks 2014: Most Common Mistakes

Make a mistake typing an email? Just hit backspace and fix it. But make a mistake on your taxes and the fix won't be as simple.

Messing up at tax time can wreck a timely refund, cost you a penalty, or even result in a visit from your friends at the IRS. So if you're going to file without a pro, avoid these common mistakes.

First and most important...Social Security numbers. Wrong number, no number, and misplaced digits could really ruin everything.

Next, check, re-check and check that math again! Software definitely helps, but you have to enter correct numbers.

"You may add up a bunch of expense items and it's wrong, and you put that in the computer and you have a math error there."

Of course there's one thing software can't do. It can't look over your shoulder to make sure you're signing the check you're sending in| or the return it's attached to.

Here's another potential mistake: using a simple form like an EZ, when a 1040A or 1040 would get you a bigger refund. Again, some software will ask you questions to avoid this mistake.

If you made less than $52,000 last year, there are thousands of places you can get your return prepared free. So even paying a preparer could also be the wrong move.

And one final mistake: failing to file electronically, and using direct deposit. If you do these things and you can get a refund in days instead of weeks.

A lot of these mistakes come from the same cause: rushing through your tax return because you waited until the last minute. Want an error-free return? Start early and take your time.

And if you want to pay less income tax, I've got more tips that'll help.

Just go to and do a search for "Tax Hacks 2014."

For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.