When it comes to preparing your yearly tax return on your own, be sure that all of your information from the taxable year has been checked, double checked, and then checked a third (forth and fifth time) before submitting your forms to the IRS. Occasionally, mistakes are made on returns that cause the IRS to look twice at your return. Be sure that these eight common mistakes taxpayers make on their yearly reports aren’t on your return for the coming year!
Wrong Names: It’s critical that you have the correct spelling of each person included on your tax forms. Their names must match exactly the way they’re spelled on their Social Security Number card.
Missing or Wrong Social Security Numbers: SSNs on your tax return should appear the same way that they do on your Social Security Card.
Wrong Bank Account Numbers: The IRS encourages taxpayers to file their returns online via e-file and have their refunds submitted via direct deposit each year for the quickest results. If you’ve chosen to have your refund from the IRS direct deposited into your bank account, be sure that you have both the routing number for your bank and your account number correct.
Filing Status Errors: Occasionally, taxpayers will file their refund using the wrong filing status. An example of this would be “Head of Household” when the taxpayer is single. By going to IRS.gov and using the Interactive Tax Assistant, you’ll get a quick answer to your filing status. Most tax programs and software also can help direct a taxpayer when choosing the correct status as well.
Math Errors: Be sure that you’ve double checked your numbers. Be extremely cautious while adding and subtracting figure items on a worksheet or form for the IRS. If you’re using a tax software program, the software used typically does this for taxpayers who are choosing to e-file.
Errors in Deductions or Tax Credits: This is where most taxpayers make mistakes figuring their EICT (Earned Income Tax Credit) or Child and Dependent Care Credit, as well as the regular standardized deductions. If you’ve chosen not to e-file, you’ll need to pay close attention when figuring these deductions and credits. And if you’re over the age of 65, or are legally blind, be sure that you’ve already claimed the higher standardized deduction for the year.
Electronic Filing Pin Errors: When you file your taxes online using e-file, you’ll sign your tax return electronically with a PIN (Personal Identification Number). If you’ve used e-file from the previous years, you can use the pin from the prior year. If you haven’t, or don’t remember, you’ll need to simply have your last year’s tax return, and enter in the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) from the prior year.
Finally, and most importantly when it comes to filing your yearly tax return on your own, you’ll need to be sure that…
Signature and Dates On All Forms: Do not forget that this is the final and most important step to doing your own taxes. An unsigned, submitted tax return to the IRS is not valid, and should you be filing jointly with a spouse, both parties will need to sign the return before it’s submitted.
If you’re unsure that you have all the correct information ready to submit to the IRS, give us a call at the Law Offices of Christy Lee, P.C. and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!