Depending on how you look at it, it's a yearly rite of passage or a yearly pain in the you-know-what. It's the thick of tax season, a time when you have to pay up to Uncle Sam for the services in our country.
But you want to make sure what you hand over to the IRS is accurate. Channel 4 spent some time with the pros at H&R Block to find out the top mistakes people make when they file their taxes.
Tax Practioner Gynn Ice has been helping people with their taxes for 12 years. Every year, she combs over a book full of changes to the United States Tax Code. And Ice is familiar with the mistakes people make.
The first mistake, she said, is a simple one.
"Some common errors are filing status. If you're married, you're married. If you're single, you're single," said Ice.
It does, in fact, seem simple enough, but Ice says people do get that wrong.
Also, people forget to take one big deduction that can save them money.
"My favorite one to correct is education credits," said Ice. "There are several different types of credits or deductions to take for education. Some people have prepaid college plans and they don't know how that comes into play."
Besides education credit, some other common mistakes taxpayers make are:
- Not deducting sales tax if you bought a vehicle or a boat.
- Taking too much or not enough when it comes to charitable contributions.
- Failing to sign and date your return.
- Making a mistake with Social Security numbers.
Another big mistake is one being made by people who are getting their mortgage debt forgiven my the bank. A lot of people are surprised to find out they actually have to pay taxes on the debt that was forgiven.
Ice says if you've filled out your tax return, you can take it to her company for a free second look. If you did make a mistake, they can go back and look at your tax returns starting in 2009.
"I can offer you the opportunity, would you like to go back and let's see if you did the same error the last several years? Because we can go back and fix it for 2009, 2010 and 2011 and you can still get the refund. Hopefully it's a refund," she said.