Most Common Tax Return Mistakes
Sep 04, 2014
A majority of tax returns are e-filed to the IRS, making your return on your refund much faster … unless, you do one of these common mistakes that can delay your return from being processed.
Double check not only your social security number, but also your spouse and children’s social security numbers. Transposing these numbers are very common.
Another common error is misspelling your name or having the wrong name. If your name has changed due to marriage or divorce, make sure you do a change of name with the Social Security Administration before you file your tax return. Just changing it with your employer on your paycheck does not change it in the IRS system. The IRS recommends you change it with Social SecurityAdministration even before you ask your employer to change it for paychecks and W-2’s.
Many people are confused with their filing status when it comes to head of household, mainly when you are divorced with kids. If both parents claim head of household and both claim the kids … there will be delays.
Errors in figuring credits or deductions, such as the child and dependent care credit, or the earned income tax credit, or if you are over 65 and/or blind will also delay processing.
Receiving your refund through electronic direct deposit is the safest and fastest … unless you enter the wrong bank account numbers. Double check the routing and account number to make sure they are correct.
People are 20 times more likely to make errors doing manual pen and paper returns compared to people who use tax software and e-file. Many are errors from either arithmetic or transferring figures from line to line or form to form. Always double check your figures with a calculator.
Should you have received a Misc/Interest/Dividend 1099 Form? If you haven’t received it, check with the company. Your copy may have gotten lost in the mail, while the IRS will still have received their government copies. If you do not claim the income on your return, the IRS will send you a notice asking for the missing tax you owe on the unreported income. This could also result in penalties and interest.
If you are mailing your return, remember to sign and date your return. If you are e-filing, make sure you use the correct Electronic filing pin number that you used the prior year.
If you are unable to file your tax return on-time, make sure to fill out an extension and mail it to the IRS. You will also need to pay in any tax that you might owe, but it gives you an extra 6 months to file the return.
The best way to avoid common mistakes is to not wait until the last minute to work on your taxes. Even giving it to your tax preparer within the last few days before the deadline is an easy way to end up getting a delay in your return being processed due to missed items or mistakes.
By: Sandra Stone, Accountant