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Common Tax Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Return

With only a few weeks left in filing season, the IRS released a list of common tax mistakes that taxpayers make each year when they file their tax returns.  The list of tax-filing errors to avoid includes the following:

  1. Wrong or missing Social Security numbers. Make sure you match your SSN to your Social Security card.
  2. Wrong names. The name(s) on your tax return should match your name(s) as it appears on your Social Security card.
  3. Wrong filing status. Make sure you use the right filing status (single, married filing joint, married filing separate, head of household, widow). If you are unsure what to use, the Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS’s website can help you choose.
  4. Math mistakes. Check and double check your math, or you could be in for a surprise.
  5. Errors in figuring credits and deductions. Make sure to follow the instructions in calculating any credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, or deductions, such as the standard deduction.
  6. Wrong bank account numbers. If you choose to get your refund by direct deposit, make sure you include the correct bank account number where the refund should be deposited. Being off by even one number could delay the processing of your refund.
  7. Signing your return. If you file a paper copy of your return, make sure it is signed! If you file a joint return, both spouses must sign. The IRS will not process unsigned returns.
  8. Electronic filing PIN errors. If you file your return electronically, make sure you use the correct Personal Identification Number assigned by the IRS to sign your return. You can use last year’s e-file PIN if you know it. If you don’t know it, enter the Adjusted Gross Income from the 2013 tax return that you originally filed with the IRS. (Note: Do not use the AGI amount from an amended return or a return that the IRS corrected).

Mistakes happen.  Paper filers are about 20 times more likely to make a mistake than electronic filers.  If you make a mistake on your return, it will likely take the IRS longer to process the return, and any refund you may receive.

Most tax-filing mistakes are preventable.  One way to avoid tax mistakes in filing your return is to hire a competent professional to prepare your return.  Another is to use a little extra care in the preparation and filing.

The tax attorneys at the Politte Law Offices are here to help you if you have questions about filing your return.  Please contact us today!

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