Last-Minute Rush Can Cause Tax Mistakes

tax preparationMEDFORD, Ore. – Tax preparers are expecting to see plenty of mistakes as people rush to finish filing their taxes in the next week.

The Oregon Department of Revenue estimates that about 500,000 Oregonians still have not filed their taxes. With only eight days left to file before the April 15th deadline, preparers at Liberty Tax Service in Medford have dealt with packed offices of people trying to beat the clock. They said people tend to make the same mistakes at the last minute, which can cost people hundreds of dollars.

“When you’re in a big hurry it’s really easy to miss some deductions,” said Annette Holman of Liberty Tax Service.

One common mistake often involved newly married couples. If someone’s name has changed, they need to put their new Social Security number on the return. If the updated number is not there, the return could be rejected.

Holman also said people filing last minute taxes tend to miss deductions and credits that could save money. She said people can still contribute to an Individual Retirement Account or College Savings Plan, which would lower the amount due on the 2013 tax return.

“It can be 20 to 25 percent of the IRA amount you put in, [that] would come off your debt owed,” Holman said.

Another mistake: how checks should be made out. If you owe money on your federal return, the payment needs to be addressed to the United States Treasury, not the IRS.

Holman said she is expecting a busy week at Liberty Tax, and will be open until Midnight on April 15th.