Some common tax mistakes to avoid:
- Taxpayers using incorrect Social Security numbers is a common error identified by the IRS. These must be accurate for the taxpayer, spouse and all dependents.
- Also note that your return will be rejected by the IRS if a dependent has already been claimed by someone else.
- Misspelled names also create problems. Names should match what is listed on an individual’s Social Security card.
- Math errors are another major reason that the IRS sends notices regarding tax returns.
- Using the incorrect tax table or interpreting the tax tables incorrectly will cause errors in your tax computations.
- We recommend filing electronically using a preparer, a reputable software or via the IRS (www.irs.gov/freefile).
Incorrect filing status
- Filing status is a fundamental component of a taxpayer’s income tax return.
- Claiming an incorrect filing status (e.g. Head of Household instead of Single) will alter the tax liability.
- The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (https://www.irs.gov/uac/interactive-tax-assistant-ita-1) is a useful tool for determining the proper filing status and other tax considerations.
Direct deposit errors
- Direct deposit is the fastest, safest and most convenient method for receiving an income tax refund.
- Triple check the routing number and bank account number for direct deposit of your refund.
- Incorrect bank information will create a significant delay in the receipt of your tax refund.
Did the IRS receive your tax return?
- Ensure that you file by the due date (April 18) or file a request a six-month extension.
- Be sure that you sign and date your return. If you are married, your spouse must also sign the return. An unsigned return is the same as a non-filed return.
- Include sufficient postage. It is wise to have the post office weigh your envelope to ensure proper postage.
- Consider sending your return via certified mail with a return receipt requested if you file a paper return.
- Double check to ensure that you are sending your return to the proper address listed in the tax return instructions.
- Did you attach required documentation such as Forms W-2?
- Strongly consider electronic filing to eliminate many of the concerns involved with filing paper returns.
- Don’t forget to file your state and city returns when you file your federal tax return.
Courtesy: Chris Harper, www.hungerfordnichols.com
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