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Tax Season Always Seems to Be Right Around the Corner

When it’s time to file a tax return, no one wants to make a mistake. Some people dread tax season because they are going to have to pay a large sum to the government. Some people dread it because they feel the whole process is complicated. The truth is that tax returns don’t need to be so difficult. Tax returns can be made easier.

The key to filing a tax return is doing so efficiently and carefully. Mistakes are common and the IRS will often punish them. By knowing what common mistakes people are making, it’s possible to avoid those. The other way to ensure a good tax return is by working with tax software. The software offerings out there allow a person to prepare their return and file it online. A good tax return can mean a quick turnaround and quick refund! If you've done a good job and have yet to see your refund, there is an IRS webpage which will allow you to ask where that refund is and why it isn't in your bank account yet! Make sure you get the money you deserve when you deserve it. 

Common Mistakes Made By People Preparing Their Taxes

Many people think it's easy to submit their taxes. Mistakes were certainly far more common when people were filing their returns via paper. While many people still do that, there are a lot of people who have changed over to completing their returns online. Tax software thankfully removes a lot of the errors made by people manually. This is especially true for the mathematical portions of completing taxes. That being said, there are still many errors people make. Some of the most common mistakes that people still make on their tax returns are:

  • Social Security Numbers - It seems like such an easy thing to get right, but many people make mistakes on their social security numbers. It can be easy to do an accidental typo and mix up two. In addition, it can be tricky to remember the SSN for every dependent or child. Always double check.
  • Wrong Names - People won’t often make a mistake with their own name, but for dependents or partners, it’s very possible to make a mistake. This isn’t always their fault, but there can be errors in spelling with the social security administration too. If things don’t easily match up, then that’s the end of that.
  • Math - Math mistakes can be common. Paper returns are the most common way to make mistakes, but any input error on a digital form will result in multiple calculations being incorrect. Tax software still vastly reduces errors in this section.
  • Incorrect Bank Account Numbers - Putting the wrong bank account number can result in a huge delay in a refund or if there are direct payments.

Best Tax Preparation Software

There are many software options for people who want to complete their own tax return, but don’t want to break out a calculator and start making calculations. Tax software and electronic filing has made preparing a tax return much easier and much quicker. The following are some of the best and most popular tax software programs that are available on the market today:

  • TurboTax - This is the most popular name when it comes to tax prep software. TurboTax offers a new version every year. It continues to be the gold standard that personal software compares itself to. TurboTax can be more expensive than some of the other ones on this list, but most people find it worth it.
  • H&R Block - People are used to the name of the company, but not necessarily know that their software simply uses the exact same name. One benefit of using H&R Block is that if you wish, a tax accountant can overlook the return to make sure that it’s maximized if you are having any doubts. You can also sit down with an H&R Block rep for free in a brick and mortar location if you feel that way.
  • TaxAct Premium - While similar to the others on this list, TaxAct Premium is a much more inexpensive alternative for many people. TaxAct also allows people to get generalized information based on big scenarios in their life, like the loss of a job or the death of a spouse or dependent.