COLUMBIA, S.C. — Some people may have already filed their taxes and are waiting for their refund, while others are getting prepared to complete the big math problem that is the tax return.

There are tips and tools to help us complete the task, but one mistake can alter the amount you receive or increase how much you'll payback. Steven Hughes with Know Money Inc. visited News19 This Morning and offered four financial missteps taxpayers should avoid during tax season:

  • Miss New Income -
    If you've had a side hustle this year, you probably received a 1099-MISC. Hughes says 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. Unreported earnings can lead to penalties and the last thing you want is more money out of your pocket.

  • Miss The Deadline -
    It's still early, but Hughes says you don't want to wait until the last minute to file your taxes. April 15 is the last day you can file in 2020. If you don't think you'll make it, Hughes says file an extension that will push you out until October. If you're filing an extension to get more time to pay back taxes, specifically ask the IRS for an extension to pay. It will save you penalties and interest.

  • Miscalculate The Math -
    Hughes recommends taking advantage of built-in calculators in tax prep software if you're filing your taxes on your own. Be sure to double-check your initial numbers are correct. The software populates the numbers you input on different sections of your taxes and accuracy is a must.

  • Incomplete Charitable Contributions -
    Several types of donations can be deducted when filing your taxes, including cars, cash, clothes, church contributions and more. Hughes suggests you follow the donation tax rules and be careful as you calculate the value of items you've given away.

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For more information about Know Money, Inc., please contact Steven M. Hughes, CFEI via email at or visit