For most people, tax season is a stressful time. You've filed your taxes, but the numbers don't seem to match up, and you can't figure out why. This can be confusing and overwhelming, but with the right guidance, you can understand your tax return and learn to manage it efficiently.

This post goes over some common reasons why your taxes aren't adding up and provides tips on avoiding errors in the future.

You Haven't Factored In Deductions and Credits

Deductions and credits are an important part of your tax return. They can reduce the amount you owe or increase the size of your refund. Note that tax forms have recently changed due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This means that deductions have increased for many taxpayers, so it's possible that you may not have taken full advantage of them.

You might have forgotten to include deductions such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child and Dependent Care Credit. You may also have missed out on deductions related to student loan interest, moving expenses, or charitable donations. Double-check all the deductions and credits you're eligible for and ensure you've included them in your return.

You Made an Entry Error

Another reason why your taxes might not be adding up is that you made a mistake on your return. This could include accidentally entering incorrect information or forgetting to report an income source. This is especially common if you're filing without the help of a professional tax preparer or accountant.

Usually, extra income or deductions are easy to identify and resolve quickly. If you're missing information, however, you might need to dig deeper into your records to make sure you have everything accounted for.

Remember that even if you file your taxes electronically, there is still a chance of an entry error. Double-check your entries before submitting your return to make sure everything is accurate. This way, you can save yourself from a lot of hassle and delays in getting your refund.

Fraud Incidents

The final reason your taxes might not add up is because of fraud or identity theft. If someone else has filed under your name using incorrect information or stolen personal information, this can lead to discrepancies in your return and even penalties from the IRS if they find out about it before you do. You might also find that you've received an unexpected tax bill, which could be a sign of fraud.

To protect yourself from identity theft and fraud, take basic security precautions, such as regularly changing passwords on all your accounts and monitoring credit reports for suspicious activity.

For help with your tax planning, contact an accounting service in your area.