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Tax Tips In Time for Filing Deadline


Believe it or not, it's that time of year again: Tax Time. If your one of the millions making common mistakes or missing out on easy deductions, taxes can be taxing. KTEN's Jocelyn Lockwood looked into ways to ease the burden. She has expert tips on how file hassle free and maximize your return.

It's no secret: tax time can be stressful, but there are ways to breeze through filing your return and save money.

It all boils down to taking your time and paying attention.

Austin College Finance Professor Stephen Ramsey says, "According to the IRS website and other websites the five most common errors are math errors, filing the incorrect, using the incorrect filing status, the wrong social security numbers, so the name and social security doesn't match the return, the return is not signed or all of their income is not reported."

It sounds like common sense, but it happens more often than you think.

The good news: Some of the five most common mistakes have been minimized through electronic filing, but if you're doing your taxes by hand be careful.

"You may get a letter from the IRS saying you didn't show everything on there or if your Social Security number doesn't match, it's a pretty easy fix, they're not looking to put anybody in jail, they just want the corrected information filed, so it's easy to correct it and send them the proper information, you may actually owe them a few dollars if income was not reported properly to begin with."

You're filing status is something you'll want to pay close attention to, especially if you're recently married or divorced.

"The incorrect filing status could be confusing to a lot of people because its determined whatever your marital status is on the last day of the year - it's not the majority of the year."

Now, when it comes to saving money, deductions are key, and there are some you may not know about.

Try this: An off-road fuel credit. If you pay taxes on fuel at a gas station to fill up equipment you use for work, you can get a break.

"So, maybe you're a fishing guide at the lake, they fill up the boat on the way to the lake then all of the gallons they're using a fishing guide, those off road gallons, there can be a tax credit for that."

You can also get one for paying college tuition, and buying a hybrid car.

And don't forget some of your medical expenses can save you, when it's time to file.

"Health insurance premiums - a lot of times people remember to deduct what they paid for in out of pocket for medical expenses, but don't remember that what they're actually paying for health insurance, health insurance premiums are deductible as an expense."

So, remember when it comes to tax time, take your time and save money.

Also, don't forget the first time home buyer tax credit. It's new.

Jocelyn Lockwood, KTEN News