Common Tax Filing Errors

The April 18 income tax filing deadline is fast approaching.  Below are some tips and suggestions from the IRS to help ensure that your tax returns are filed properly.  Of course, if you ever have any questions regarding tax filing or tax compliance, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

File electronically.

Filing electronically, whether through e-file or IRS Free File, vastly reduces tax return errors, as the tax software does the calculations, flags common errors and prompts taxpayers for missing information.

Mail a paper return to the right address.

Paper filers should check IRS.gov or their tax form instructions for the appropriate address where to file to avoid processing delays.

Take a close look at the tax tables.

When figuring tax using the tax tables, taxpayers should be sure to use the correct column for the filing status claimed.

Fill in all requested information clearly.

When entering information on the tax return, including Social Security numbers, take the time to be sure it is accurate and easy to read. Also, check only one filing status and the appropriate exemption boxes.

Review all figures.

While software catches and prevents many errors on e-file returns, math errors remain common on paper returns.

Get the right routing and account numbers.

Requesting direct deposit of a federal tax refund into one, two or even three accounts is convenient and allows the taxpayer access to their money faster. Make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause a refund to be delayed or deposited into the wrong account.

Sign and date the return.

If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. When filing an individual tax return electronically, taxpayers must electronically sign the tax return using a personal identification number (PIN).

Keep a copy of the return.

Once ready to be filed, taxpayers should make a copy of their signed return and all schedules for their records. Request a filing extension. For taxpayers who cannot meet the April 18 deadline, requesting a filing extension is easy and will prevent late-filing penalties. Either use Free File or Form 4868.  But keep in mind that while an extension grants additional time to file, tax payments are still due on April 18.