5 Common Tax-Filing Mistakes to Avoid Next Year

MANY TAXPAYERS HAD AN unpleasant surprise after filing this year. Their refund amount was lower than expected and, in some cases, filers ended up owing money at the end of the year.

While some taxpayers benefited from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, others didn't fare as well from the tax reform. The tax law instituted significant changes, such as larger standard deductions, lost personal exemptions and new tax brackets. And with confusion and uncertainty over the updates to the tax code, not everyone was prepared for how the reform would affect their bottom line in 2018.

But there's a silver lining: Next year's tax-filing season may be better. "Now that we're going into the second year of it, people have more idea of what to expect," says Joanna Powell, managing director with accounting firm CBIZ MHM, LLC in Boston. Still, if your tax experience wasn't positive this year, it's crucial to make sure you don't commit common filing pitfalls.

Here are tax-filing mistakes to avoid next year:
  • Withholding too little from your paycheck.
  • Filing before all your forms arrive.
  • Missing lucrative deductions and credits.
  • Forgetting how life events affect taxes.
  • Neglecting to seek help.
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