Read Now Before Filing : Top 5 Tax Mistakes That Cost You

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Read Now Before Filing : Top 5 Tax Mistakes That Cost You

There are only a few weeks left to file taxes and many of us are worried about making mistakes when filing. A miscalculation here, a forgotten signature there and bam! It could delay your refund, cost you a penalty or result in paying the government more than your fair share.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Take time now to avoid these and other common mistakes:

1. Incorrect Social Security info

No number, transposed numbers, a missing digit or an incorrect name—any or all of these errors can create more than a tax-time headache for you. (A wrong number could belong to someone else, so be sure to get yours right.) If your name has changed or you have questions, contact the Social Security Administration.

2. Wrong status

“It’s complicated” won’t fly with the IRS—but neither will “Married” or “Single”—if it doesn’t reflect your status on Dec. 31. For example, if you were single that day, you’re single for the year—regardless of when you got divorced. If you were married then, you were married for the year. Seems logical, but it’s a common mistake you can easily avoid.

3. Not checking for updates

Before you start copying the same ol, same ol’ from last year’s tax form, check for updates to tax laws. Things change every year. Don’t get in hot water for taking something that’s no longer yours.  When in doubt, check it out!

4. Missing deductions and tax credits

Don’t assume you’ve ticked all the boxes on this one. As we said, “Things change every year.” Millions of people miss out on deductions and credits (to the tune of $1 billion a year). For example, did you:

  • Go back to college?
  • Buy a house last year?
  • Experience a major life change, like having a baby?

These and a LOT of other things may qualify for deductions and/or tax credits that can add up in your favor. Be sure to check them out!

5. Filing late

What if you owe the government money but don’t have the cash to send a check with your tax form? File on time anyway. The penalty for not filing is 10 times the penalty for not paying.

If paying your taxes by April 15 will present a hardship, go to to find out more about a payment plan.

How to Avoid Common Tax Mistakes & Maximize Your Refund

Be a Tax Champ:

All of these tax tips, plus some great ways to maximize your tax return are all available for you to download in a simple guide from brightpeak financial: How to Avoid Common Tax Mistakes & Maximize Your Refund. It’s a must-read for anyone completing their taxes and is free to download HERE.

brightpeak financial is not in the business of giving tax advice.  This blog is meant to give you our perspective on things that may give you a headache down the road.  Be sure to consult your tax advisor to get advice about your individual situation.  brightpeak financial is not affiliated or responsible for any of the content linked herein.


  1. Monique on March 29, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I mixed up my daughters’ SSNs before. Boy does that cause problems! LOL! Thanks for sharing the tips and reminders.

  2. HilLesha O'Nan on March 30, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    These are wonderful tips! This year, my tax accountant actually accidentally used the wrong SS# for my son on my taxes. Not sure how this happened since the correct number was supposed to be on file like all of the other years. Thankfully, this was caught in time!

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