Tony Novak is an accountant and finance writer based in Philadelphia.
When it comes to taxes, most of us make errors. It's not our fault; the system is ridiculously complicated. Some errors are made when preparing the tax return. Others errors are made long before that time by not taking the steps that would have reduced taxes. Yet taken together, these two types of errors can add up to significant lost financial opportunity over a lifetime. This short list of the most common errors was distilled from several sources that report on the observations of financial advisers who review tax returns prepared by others.
Most common tax filing errors:
1) itemized deductions
2) rental property deductions
3) cost basis of investments
Tax advisers suggest that everyone should have their tax return reviewed by a person other than the person who prepared it. That review can be completed at any time, but it is clear that the sooner the better in terms of options that will be available if changes are justified. While most reviews result in either the discovery of an error / oversight OR an alternate possible approach to reporting the same transactions. Not all reviews result in a recommendation to amend the return; in fact this occurs in only
Most common tax planning errors:
The feedback on an article I wrote recently on financial planning was kindly worded: "You have a refreshingly fresh perspective". If we believe that everything happens for a purpose, then I should believe that my non-traditional background and career was specifically intended to contribute to a unique financial planning perspective. Whatever the reason, I am pleased to be in a position to offer some innovative strategies to boost individual and small business accounting, financial management and business planning.
I hope that you enjoy some of the articles that are republished here on this Web site. Even more, I hope that you call to discuss some fresh ideas toward your own tax and financial management.
4/2/2013 I gave an interview to the editor of Insurancenewsnet about development of the health insurance navigator program and my struggles with the www.OnlineNavigator.org project.
4/1/2013 article update: Financial planning in the age of austerity
Tony Novak is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and an accredited business member of the Better Business Bureau.
For more individual and small business services see
the Freedom Benefits Web site at
editorial: Know Who to Trust: Straight Talk on Choosing a Financial Adviser (8/9/2012) and a formatted version Word document can be downloaded from here.
Article: Fee-only vs. fee-based financial planning: which is best for me? (6/24/2012)
CPA license announcement (6/5/2012)
Article: "2012 tax planning for remodelers" in Qualified Remodeler (3/21/2102)
A four page "Step-by-step guide to reducing small business health insurance costs in 2012" is available in PDF format. (1/14/2012)
New article for accountants and business advisers (1/19/2012):
Eight factors that determine the success of health reform transition in a small business
Blog post "Less than half of us believe in the American Dream" discusses a disturbing trend among young adults
Thanks for visiting and please always feel encouraged to share your views on these issues.
I would love to hear from you!