Avoid costly mistakes this tax season

Avoid costly mistakes this tax season

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ATLANTA -

It's tax season and that means many of us are getting our paperwork together. Before you file, make sure you are not committing any tax blunders that can cost you money.  

Here's a look at some costly mistakes and some things you may be overlooking.

First, don't forget to sign your name. Tax preparers always mention this as a big "oops!" Sign your name the same way on each piece of paper. 

Second, the IRS says that 67,000 Americans in 2010 got their own filing status wrong. If you got married or divorced in the middle of the year, check what your filing status should be.  

Now, let's get into some tax credits or deductions you might be overlooking.

The accounting firm CB Smith and Associates in Cumming says dependent child care is often overlooked as a credit available to you. This applies to you if your child is in pre-school, in a day care, or even has a nanny.

Have you purchased a new air conditioning unit or water heater, or perhaps replaced your windows?  There is an energy credit available if the purchase or repair has the Energy Star seal.  

CB Smith and Associates says be aware of these deductions:

1.    The points paid when buying a house.
2.    Deduct mileage in a numbers of cases - if you're job hunting, if you're moving for that job.
3.    If you take someone to regular medical treatments, that's a deduction.  
4.    Deduct if your travel is for charity reasons.  

You must be able to back up your deductions with paperwork or receipts.

If you're reading all of this, and think it's time to get a tax preparer on the job, take your returns from the last three years in for a review. You might be able to get additional deductions from previous years.  It certainly won't hurt to check.

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