COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Most of our W2s are either on the fridge, or in the mail, but either way you have three months to file your taxes.
With free online programs like TurboTax, TaxAct and more, every year the number of people filing their own taxes increases; and David Bass, a Certified Public Accountant, says every year more people lose money where they could have gained it.
"If you have rental property, there's a lot of deductions that go with rental property. To determine who you could claim as a tax dependent is an issue for some people."
Some of the top mistakes people make when filing their own taxes are:
- Wrong mathematical calculations.
- Claiming a child as a dependent when they are not. This is a big problem for parents that are divorced; only one parent can claim the child as a dependent. Not both. Bass says that's usually determined in the divorce decree.
- Wrong tax deductions for things like mortgages, charitable donations and more.
- Also, you could be eligible for tax credits, but when people do them on their own they are sometimes missed.
"You have childcare credits, you have age credit, and Georgia has a Driver's ED credit that people often aren't aware of. You could also end up checking yes or no to a question that could actually end up in an audit if you answer it wrong."
Bass says sometimes the mistakes may not be your fault, they could be the fault of your electronic tax program
"Triple Tax is a very popular program and they've had issues in the past with calculation errors they did not realize until after the filing season was over and people were going to potentially have issues with tax returns."
David Bass says filing your taxes on your own is not bad. If you have a simple, basic W2 than electronic filing works well, but anything more complicated you should see a CPA.