When the time comes to file your tax return, it’s incredibly important to ensure you’ve filled out every section with the utmost accuracy. Otherwise, you risk a delay in processing and incorrect refunds. Before you click “submit” or drop your return in the mailbox, double check all sections for the most common tax filing mistakes made each year.
Forgetting to Sign
Your signature makes everything official and certifies that the information you have provided is correct. However, the IRS reports that submitting a return without a signature is one of the most common mistakes seen on tax returns. If you file jointly with your spouse and use a paper return, both parties have to sign. This is one of the major benefits to filing an electronic return because you can’t send it to the IRS without a digital signature.
Using the Wrong Filing Status
While it may not be difficult to determine if you are married or single, other filing statuses can cause taxpayers a bit of confusion. Generally, the Head of Household status is the biggest culprit of misused filing status errors, whether it is done on purpose or not.
Incorrect Social Security Number
You are required to enter social security numbers for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents when filling out a return. In many cases, the person preparing the return enters the incorrect number for one of one of these persons. Double check the numbers enter to ensure they represent what is printed on the official card.
Incorrectly Claiming Credits and Deductions
Many taxpayers don’t claim all the credits or deductions they are eligible for, or they try to claim ones they don’t actually qualify for. The Child and Dependent Care Credit, the standard deduction and the Earned Income Tax Credit are both the most incorrectly claimed and the most overlooked. The tax code changes frequently, so keeping up can get confusing, and it’s easy to understand why these types of mistakes are so common.
Another benefit of electronically filing your return is that you’re less likely to make any accounting mistakes. Those who opt to file paper returns are 20 times more susceptible to making calculation errors. Regardless of how you file our taxes, you should always double check your calculations.
Incorrect Taxpayer Name
Surprisingly, a growing number of tax returns are filed with the wrong name listed. Either because of marriage or other changes in a surname, or a misspelling of either name, mismatched IRS returns can cause significant delays.
Wrong Bank Account Information
Having just one number wrong in your account information can throw everything off, causing a major delay in the processing of your refund. Ensure that if you opt for direct deposit, you have submitted the correct bank account number.