Beware rushing through your taxes—it could lead to an audit

The deadline for filing your 2017 tax return is only two weeks away—are you prepared? If the answer is “no,” you are not alone. As of March 23, the Internal Revenue Service has received only 85.6 million tax returns of its expected 155 million. Apparently, there are many million Americans who put off their taxes until the last minute.

You may feel pressured to rush through your taxes to finish them as soon as possible. But doing this could be a mistake. If you rush to prepare your tax return, you could make mistakes that could not only cost you money, but flag you for a tax audit.

Filing at the last minute

Though the April 17th deadline looms near, you do not need to feel pressured to rush. Filing your taxes does not necessarily have to be complicated, stressful or rushed. Some tax preparers even choose to work with a professional tax preparer, accountant or tax lawyer to complete their taxes. No matter how you decide to prepare your taxes, do it carefully. Any errors that you make in haste could be red flags for an IRS audit. Before you rush your taxes, slow down and consider a few of these tips.

  • Get an extension

One option is to apply for a tax extension. The IRS can extend the filing deadline for some applicants who need more time. This would give you extra breathing room to either prepare your own taxes or find a trusted professional to do them for you.

  • Peek at past returns

Remember the tax returns from last year that you stuffed in a filing cabinet somewhere? It’s time to dig them out and take a peek at them. Having this information at your fingertips can make filling out your current return much faster.

  • Make it an event

Set aside a certain chunk of time to complete your taxes. Maybe it is a few hours in the evening after work; maybe it is an entire weekend. Completely devote this time to completing your taxes slowly and carefully: No distractions, and no rushing.