Columbia, SC (WLTX) - There are many people that take advantage of VITA tax programs organized by nonprofits like United Way and The Cooperative Ministry while others use tax software. There are checks and balances to keep us in check, but one mistake can alter the amount you receive or increase how much you'll pay back. Know Money Inc.'s Financial Educator Steven Hughes has the four most common mistakes made when filing taxes:

  • Math Miscalculations - Built-in calculators do the adding and subtracting for you, but you still have to make sure your initial numbers are correct. The software populates the numbers you input on different sections of your taxes and accuracy is a must. Don't let the IRS examiners tell you what you've done right or wrong. Make sure all of your numbers are valid.
  • Additional Income/Filing Work - Unreported earnings can lead to penalties. Penalties equal more money to the IRS, and no one wants to be in that position. If you've had a side hustle this year, you probably received a 1099-MISC. Don't forget to add 1099-INT and 1099-DIV to add any money you've received from dividends or interest from savings and investment accounts.
  • Complete Charitable Contributions - There are many things you can write off on your taxes including charitable contributions. All types of donations can be counted when you file - cars, cash, clothes, church contributions, and more should be included when you're filing. Follow the donation tax rules and be careful as you calculate the value of items you've given away.
  • Missing The Deadline - Many taxpayers put off filing until the very last minute, this can hurt you. April 15th falls on a Saturday this year, so you have until April 17th to file your taxes. If you don't think you'll make it, you can see if you qualify to file an extension. This will push the filing deadline back until October.

Don't delay your refund or cost yourself more cash when it comes to filing your taxes. Be careful and lean on tax professionals to get your questions answered.