Tax season is almost here and we want you to know the common errors that you should avoid when filing your taxes. Did you know that filing your tax return electronically can reduce errors? According to the IRS, the software will help you with the math, help you remember missing information, and even flag common errors for you.
The IRS has put together a list of common errors to help you through the tax filing process. Using this list in addition to using a tax preparer that you trust will set you up for success this tax season. Avoiding mistakes can save you time on getting your refund!
- Check Your Math: This is the most common mistake that people make on their taxes. Be on the safe side: double check your math! You can also prevent math mistakes by using tax prep software.
- Missing/Incorrect Social Security Number(s): The information must be exact and match your Social Security card.
- Incorrect Name(s): Your name must be spelled exactly the same as it appears on your Social Security card.
- Incorrect Filing Status: Make sure you choose the correct status by consulting the Interactive Tax Assistant. You can also prevent this mistake by using tax software.
- Check Your Account Numbers: An incorrect bank account and routing numbers can prevent you from receiving your refund quickly.
- Using Expired ITIN’s: The IRS says that you should file with an expired Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and they will process the return. The problem is that they will not allow any credits or exemptions when using an expired ITIN. You should receive a notice to renew your number. As soon as the ITIN is renewed, the IRS will process return normally and apply the credits and/or exemptions.
- Credits & Deductions: Common mistakes are made when the instructions for credits and deductions are not followed carefully. Always remember to attach the required forms and schedules. Check out the IRS’ pages for earned income tax credit and child and dependent care credit to give you additional information. The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant can also help you see what you are eligible for in relation to tax credits or deductions.
- Sign Your Forms: Without your signature, the tax return is not valid. Remember, both spouses need to sign a joint return. There are exceptions to this rule for members of the armed forces or other taxpayers who have a valid power of attorney.
Need More Information?
Using the IRS checklist will help you to avoid additional mistakes when preparing your tax return. You can find a copy of the checklist here: Checklist of Common Errors when Preparing Your Tax Return. The IRS also has a YouTube video on avoiding tax return errors: English | Spanish.