With tax season looming ahead, many push the work to last minute for various reasons. Whether you prepare your own or hire a tax-preparation specialist, procrastinating to the submission deadline is prime time for mistakes. In my personal experience, quality results happen with proper planning and covering all details. You need to be sure that you have all the correct information to file your taxes. If one piece of information is incorrect, it will result in correspondence with the IRS.
How do you prevent communication and any possible refund delays? Allow plenty of time to gather all the correct information and take time to review your return before submission. Believe it or not, the same mistakes occur year after year.
The first two mistakes are submitting the wrong name or the incorrect social security number.
- The name provided on the tax return must match the IRS database. Individuals who married and did not change their name within the IRS database cannot use their spouse’s last name on the return. The IRS will kick it back quickly if the return is e-filed.
- Triple check social security numbers! Transposing numbers is a common mistake when dealing with numbers. The IRS will match the name with the social security number submitted, and if incorrect, reject the e-file. Another common mistake that goes along with these two is providing the wrong birthdate. The IRS also matches this with the name and social and if e-filed, reject it quickly.
- Before filing your taxes, you need to wait for all your forms to come in. Some companies send documents through a password protected email. Take a moment and think about your year. How many W-2s or 1099s should you anticipate on receiving? Did you sell any stock? Did you receive any retirement funds? If you believe you are missing a form, call to find out where it is. Do not file a tax return without missing forms. You will receive correspondence, and you will need to amend your return.
Make sure your bank account information is correct if you are having your refund direct deposited.
- Triple-check your bank account! If your rebate deposits into the wrong bank account, unfortunately, it may be difficult to resolve the issue. If the refund lands into a non-existent bank account, the payment returns to the IRS.
Mailing your tax return? Remember to sign it.
- Jointly-filed returns need both signatures. The IRS considers unsigned tax returns void: same as an unsigned check, delaying the process of your tax return. Interest and penalties could accumulate if your return is filed late.
Prevent costly mistakes. Take time to review your return several times. Taking a few extra minutes can help avoid interest, penalties, and headaches.
Always consult a tax professional if you have any doubts when preparing your return.
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