Filing the Wrong Tax Forms
There are three different forms people can use when filing an individual tax return; 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ. Form 1040 takes the longest to fill out, but it also gives you the flexibility to do things like itemize deductions or reflect self-employment income. At the other end of the spectrum, the 1040EZ is fairly easy to complete (as you might have guessed from the name), but the form is only appropriate if you have a simple tax situation (no student loan interest or IRA contributions to write off, for instance). The IRS encourages all filers to use the simplest form that they can to speed up processing refund checks. Make sure, though, that you don't end up overpaying on your taxes for the sake of an easy filing process or so that you can get your refund check. As we learned from our discussion on tax credits and deductions, credits and deductions can result in huge savings to the taxpayer at the end of the day. At the very least, however, you'll want to maximize your standard deduction by avoiding the next mistake on our list in the process.