Don’t make a costly mistake while filing your taxes

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Many of you are getting ready for tax season. The question is: are you having someone do them for you or are you planning to tackle them on your own?

We’re helping you stretch your dollar with added costs you may not be aware of if you file yourself. Filing yourself certainly has its benefits. You can get it done at home, on your time and it’s cheaper. But keep in mind, you do need to have some knowledge of how the system works and what applies to you, or else you could make a costly mistake.

Tony Butler, a preparer at Liberty Tax in New Haven, recommends you have someone do them for you but, if you are going to do them yourself, there are some things to keep in mind. For one thing, it’s not free.

“Many people believe free federal means free federal and state, so most sites do charge for a state return,” Butler said.

You have to pay the state you live and work in. If those are different, you’ll be paying both.  Also, you’ll have to pay more if you want any kind of audit protection.

“This audit assistance is minimal, it doesn’t include more difficult problems, but it is available for some taxpayers who may experience some problems.

You may also want to brush up on who’s eligible for the different credits.  Butler says every year they have people come in who filed on their own and then need to file a correction when they realize they did it wrong. One common mistake:

“People don’t understand who they can claim.  Many people feel they can file older adults, parents, cousins which are not allowed for the earned income credit,” Butler added.

Filing on your own is likely best for simple returns. Younger people who are just getting started and don’t own property. For everyone else, it’s file at your own risk.

Here’s something else to consider when someone files it for you. You’re handing your very personal information over to them and you want to know it’s protected. Make sure it’s a reputable preparer.

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