Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Avoid these common tax mistakes: part I

It's nearly that time of the year again. Time for Ohio residents to collect important tax and financial documents and either head to a professional tax preparer or sit down and attempt to figure out one's own taxes. It's no secret that U.S. tax codes and laws are extremely complex and often confusing. What's more, many rules and regulations pertaining to taxes change from year to year, with the 2013 tax year being no exception. It's no wonder, therefore, that many taxpayers make mistakes when filing tax returns.

Individuals or business owners who make errors when filing taxes may either be shortchanging themselves or the IRS. If the later is the case, those found to be in violation of IRS tax laws may be subject to fines, penalties or even criminal charges. In this two-part blog post, we'll review some of the most common errors taxpayers make and discuss the often serious implications of these errors.

Some tax errors are the result of innocent math errors or mistakes with transposing numbers. These types of seemingly minor errors, however, can continue to haunt a taxpayer for months or even years. Other common tax mistakes may occur in cases where an individual or business owner hires a professional tax preparer. If a taxpayer fails to share information with a tax preparer, a tax return and supporting documentation may contain information that is inaccurate or incorrect.

To avoid paying more taxes, many taxpayers are eager to take as many tax deductions as possible. A taxpayer may be able to take deductions for a number of things including dependants, charitable donations, medical expenses and mortgage fees. However, when figuring out tax deductions, it's important to closely review the rules and regulations that dictate the terms of who is allowed to take such deductions and under what circumstances. It's also important to note that these rules may change from year to year.

In our next post we'll continue to look at some of the most common types of tax errors made by individuals and business owners.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Don't Make These Tax Mistakes," Stephen Webster, Jan. 31, 2014

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