Careless mistakes. The phrase conjures up memories of algebra class and tests covered in red X's. For some of us, math class might have been the last time we dusted off the calculator and crunched some numbers. No wonder, then, that math errors are common on tax returns. Filing electronically can help, since your tax software will do most of the math for you. Of course, if you accidentally enter the wrong numbers in the first place, your tax software won't be able to help you out.
The IRS does check the returns, and sometimes those math errors work out in your favor, resulting in bigger returns than you were expecting. Other times, you may end up owing the IRS money and incur interest payments as well. Even the IRS makes mistakes occasionally, so if you receive a letter from the agency regarding math errors on your return, make sure to check its work, too.
Avoiding the next mistake on our list requires more effort, but that effort can be very rewarding. Read on to find out why.