Avoiding tax mistakes as deadline approaches

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

You have about a month left to get your taxes done or file for an extension, but tax laws are complicated and confusing.

Time is ticking.

128 million people will work through paperwork to hit the April 15 tax deadline.

Financial planner Kristin Castello said even the most experienced seniors who have been filing for decades can still get confused by changes.

“The way that the tax structure is, it is very complicated to calculate your taxes, and one of the main areas we see a lot of mistakes on is if people do their tax return by hand and then mail it into the IRS,” Castello said.

Last year, taxpayers made almost 13 million math errors on their tax forms. That’s according to IRS data.

Giving to charity the wrong way can cost you. Donating stocks or even cryptocurrency, instead of cash allows you to avoid capital gain taxes and gives you a deduction.

Filing taxes too early is also a potential problem.

“I think the biggest mistake is that people file their taxes before they receive all of their tax forms,” Castello said.

Another mistake is taking only the standard deduction.

Americans over age 65 who meet the IRS criteria are eligible for an extra standard deduction.

That’s $1,850 for single people and three grand for married couples that file jointly. Also, some seniors forget to factor in health care deductions.

The amount you pay for medical and dental care over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income is deductible, and if you’re self-employed, you can deduct your medicare premium.

Another charity donation tip: some donations give you a tax credit, along with a deduction.

Tax credits directly reduce the amount you owe, whereas deductions reduce the amount of your taxable income

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.