Special Report

19 Mistakes the IRS Says Filers Must Avoid

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9. Using incorrect column from the tax tables form

If you are calculating your own taxes, you will likely need to refer to the 1040 Tax Tables document to make the calculations. If you are not looking in the column applicable to to you, however, you will inevitably miscalculate. While this may sound obvious, the IRS reports it as one of the most common mistakes.

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8. Failing to claim the correct deduction if over 65 or blind

If you or your spouse are blind or at least 65, you can claim it as a deduction. But filers must use a chart found on the 1040 or 1040A form to determine the correct deduction. According to the IRS, people claiming this deduction frequently misuse the tables and list the wrong amount.

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7. Failure to enclose negative amounts in brackets

This common mistake can have potentially serious consequences. If negative figures are not noted in brackets, they may be misinterpreted by the IRS as positive numbers and result in additional taxes.

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6. Incorrectly calculating deductions and credits

Tax deductions, such as charitable donations effectively reduce taxable income, while tax credits directly reduce taxes owed. Miscalculations could result in overpaying the IRS.

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5. Entering income on the wrong lines

One simple and easily avoidable mistake that will certainly raise eyebrows at the IRS is income entered in the wrong boxes.