With just one more week to file annual income taxes, many Americans are rushing to prepare their returns on time. Filing taxes at the last minute is hardly ideal, it is the choice that many busy taxpayers make. What many people don’t realize is that rushing through their taxes can lead to easy-to-avoid mistakes that could end up costing you.

While making innocent mistakes on your taxes is not usually a serious matter, it can lead to tedious bureaucratic red tape. One example? Making a mistake on your taxes could delay your much-anticipated refund. Read through our post to make sure that you avoid these mistakes and get your refund on time.

Simple tax mistakes

Many people mistakenly believe that when refunds are delayed, it is because of complicated returns from high-income taxpayers. But this is not the case: When a refund is delayed, it is usually due to simple errors. These are some of the most common errors that taxpayers make:

  • Misspelling your name on the paperwork.
  • Getting a digit of your Social Security number wrong.
  • Making simple mathematical errors in addition or subtraction.
  • Entering incorrect banking information for your direct deposit.
  • Forgetting to sign your returns.
  • Choosing the wrong filing status.
  • Claiming tax breaks for which you do not qualify.
  • Not using enough postage.

Get your return on time

The Internal Revenue Service understands that every human is going to make a mistake sooner or later. But when it comes to filing taxes, you still want your returns to be error-free, if possible. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of an error on your return and receive your refund on time.

  • Take your time while filling out your return.
  • Read the tax instructions carefully.
  • Have your W-2s, 1099s and other necessary paperwork on hand.
  • Work with a professional like an accountant or a tax attorney.
  • Double-check your math and make sure the figures are accurate.
  • Review your returns carefully before submitting them.