Tax mistakes are more common than you think, and despite people worrying about making mistakes, they do happen. If you make a mistake when filing, it may take longer for the IRS to process your return but it’s not the end of the world. If you opt for e-filing, you decrease your chances of making a mistake compared to when you file a paper return. If you are aware of the most common filing errors, you’re less likely to make the mistake yourself when filing your tax return. The eight biggest tax mistakes are:
- Social Security Number: often, Social Security numbers are left off returns, and in many cases, when they are entered, the incorrect number is given.
- Names: people misspell the names of one of the people on the return. Each person’s name has to match exactly what is written on their Social Security Cards.
- Filing Status: You should always choose the filing status which best fits your situation. When you e-file, the software will ensure you’re choosing the correct status.
- Accounting: Errors in calculations are pretty much a given when it comes to paper returns. Again, this is a major benefit for e-filing, as the software does the math for you, and ensures its accurate before you submit.
- Credits/Deductions: Be aware of calculations regarding the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit, as these are the most commonly found to have errors in accounting.
- Bank Account: if you want to have your refund direct deposited, ensure you put the correct bank account number and routing number on your return. E-filing combined with direct deposit is one of the fastest ways to get your return.
- Signature: Many people forget to sign their tax return, which makes it unvali If it’s a joint return, all persons have to sign the form.
- PIN errors: those who have e-filed in the past use a Personal Identification Number to sign their tax return. This number is valid from year to year, so it’s important to remember it. If you forget, your AGI from the previous year can be used, but not the AGI from a corrected or amended return.