The risks of committing avoidable tax flaws, especially towards the tax filing deadline, are usually high, some with negative consequences that may even beckon a tax audit or unnecessary delays in returns-processing. Explained below are seven such errors that can be avoided by simply double-checking completed returns before submitting them to the IRS:
1. Wrong Social Security Numbers: Ensure that all the Social Security numbers, be it for self, children, spouse, or dependents are accurate. The IRS has rated this as the most commonly committed return error and you therefore, must double check. This should be done whether you are filing on paper or online.
2. Name Errors: Ensure that you use your own name, especially if you are married and file separately as opposed to your spouse’s. See to it that the name on the return matches the one on your Social Security card. Contact the Social Security administration for a new card if there are any changes to the name(s).
3. Incorrect/Multiple Filling Statuses: You can only file under one filing status at a time. Even though online tax preparation software don’t accept multiple selections of the filing statuses, it is common for those filing on paper to check off more than one status at a time. Ensure that this does not happen.
4. Signing of All Signature Areas: Your tax return is only valid if it is signed accordingly by all relevant parties. If you are filing a joint return, make certain that your spouse signs as well, because failure to do this may lead to delays or even rejection of the return altogether.
5. Math Errors: Mathematical flaws are common, especially when working out the amount of tax due manually. Avoid this by only using the most current version of the tax tables, countercheck the math, and make necessary corrections.
6. Claiming Credits and Deductions: The regulations to IRS credits and deductions are constantly changed every year, and you must check to ensure that you qualify for some, like the Earned Income Credit, which is calculated based on the gross income before claiming. The same applies to deductions, some of which are age specific. To avoid any delays in the processing of your return, only claim credits and deductions that you are eligible for.
7. Routing and Account Numbers: Most taxpayers claiming refunds prefer direct deposits from the IRS, which can only be made possible if you provide accurate routing and bank account numbers. It is very easy to correct this error; just review the details before filing.
Finally, feel free to apply for a tax filing extension if you cannot file the return in time. This will ensure that you not only evade common tax errors, but also the IRS interests and penalties.