The Forbes 2014 Tax Guide provides helpful tips on how to choose a tax preparer, where to find free tax help, how to understand certain deductions and credits, and much more. If you are looking for free tax help, our Tax Clinics for Low Income Taxpayers page provides a list of local tax clinics in San Diego that will assist you with filing taxes or resolving issues with the IRS.

Whether you receive help or prepare your own tax returns, be sure to avoid the following 10 most common tax filing mistakes:


1. Math miscalculations: Be sure to double check when you are transferring numbers from one schedule to another or doing arithmetic. Another common math error is mistakes in computing taxable income, withholdings and estimated tax payments.

2. Misspelled or different names: Your name must match your tax identification number. This error occurs among new wives who change their names when they get married.

3. Direct deposit: This is the fastest and safest way to get your tax refund but be sure to enter the correct account or routing number or you may lose your refund!

4. Filing status error: For  tax purposes, marital status is determined on the last day of the year, December 31. View IRS Publication 17 for help on how to choose your filing status.

5. Missing or incorrect social security numbers: Including the correct social security number is crucial to claim certain tax credits.

6.Additional income: IRS examiners will definitely contact tax payers who forget to include any additional income earned.

7. Charitable contributions: Any types of donations could be valuable tax deductions that you may claim.

8. Missing dates and signatures: A valid tax return requires both the date and signature.

9. Missing the deadline date: If the deadline date is missed and a request for extension is not filed, then taxpayers could face penalties for late filing or not filing their returns.