WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With Tax Day looming and consumer stress levels rising, free online tax filing provider MyFreeTaxes.com announced today its list of five common tax mistakes that can derail a tax return. Developed based upon its experience helping more than 56,000 consumers file their returns over the past three years, the list highlights frequently made, yet easy-to-avoid errors that can create major headaches for hardworking taxpayers. Making the cut for this year's list are the following five mistakes:
- Fudging The Numbers –Trying to fool Uncle Sam by switching a number here or there is a proven way to cause alarm. Even unintentional errors can cause serious problems so it's important to double check every figure before submitting your return (including even your social security number). Remember to pay what you owe. The downsides for making any kind of mistake aren't worth it.
- Doing Your Taxes the Night Before They're Due– Get your tax return done early and avoid the stress of leaving it until the night before tax day. Procrastination not only leads to feeling rushed during the filing process and being unable to confirm important details, but can also cause you to misplace that one form or that one set of documents that you might need. With the pressure on, you're much more likely to make a mistake and perhaps miss out on your highest possible refund.
- Paying A "Pro" – Paying a tax preparer is a good way to file your taxes properly. However, it can be a significant expense if you are already on a tight budget or time schedule. Free online tax filing services for qualified persons, like MyFreeTaxes.com, provide step-by-step guidance to help ensure you file the best return possible. Filing online allows you to do your taxes on your time, without the pressure of being on someone else's clock. It's safe, secure and efficient.
- Receiving Your Refund In The Mail – When you are on the e-filing home stretch, you will be prompted with the question of how you would like to receive your refund. The option of directly depositing your refund into a savings account, savings bonds or checking account is faster and safer than having a physical check sent in the mail. Plus, if you can divide a portion of it into savings, you're less likely to spend it right away.
- Not Filing – Often, people steer clear of filing because they are scared of owing money. Many times, they don't know how many tax credits they are actually eligible for. You may not know what you are missing out on by not filing. Uncle Sam might owe you up to $2,000. You may end up looking forward to tax day!
The Walmart Foundation, United Way, One Economy and National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour have partnered to bring fast, easy, free online and in-person tax-preparation services to taxpayers who earned less than $57,000 in 2010. Qualifying taxpayers can file their state and federal taxes for free through the MyFreeTaxes.com site and can also access free, in-person tax preparation guidance at local tax help centers or via the campaign's National Tour vans, which are making stops in local communities across the U.S.
As part of this year's campaign, MyFreeTaxes.com developed a free app for iPhone and Android smartphones that allows consumers to determine whether they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Consumers can calculate their EITC benefits by visiting: http://bit.ly/mytaxbackapp.
Qualifying tax payers can also visit community-based Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites across the nation, a service supported by United Way, to prepare their taxes in-person. For eligibility information visit http://liveunited.org/freetaxprep or dial 2-1-1. The National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour will provide free tax preparation and filing assistance, along with other asset building strategies, to low-income persons with disabilities. Visit www.reitour.org to learn more.
"Our goal is to empower low and moderate-income working families to file their taxes for free and with the confidence that they are submitting an accurate, error-free return that takes full advantage of the credits they are qualified to receive," said Lee Davenport, Director of Strategic Initiatives at One Economy. "Whether they are filing their returns online or meeting with an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer at one of our mobile van locations, we are committed to helping taxpayers understand their rights and maximize their potential refunds."
MyFreeTaxes.com is made possible through funding from the Walmart Foundation. One Economy, United Way and the National Disability Institute's Real Economy Impact Tour are committed to providing online and on-the-ground free tax filing and preparation for low- and moderate- income individuals. To learn more, visit www.myfreetaxes.com or find MyFreeTaxes on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MyFreeTaxes. To join in on the conversation on Twitter follow @MyFreeTaxes or use #freetaxes and #eitc.