Filing your tax return doesn’t have to be stressful. Many people worry about making a mistake when filing, and surprisingly, mistakes do happen. It’s not the end of your tax world. It does mean that the IRS may take longer in processing your return, leading to a delay in your refund. Mistakes are less common when you e-file as opposed to using paper returns, which increases your chance of making a filing mistake. The most common tax filing errors are:
- Social Security Number: Many people enter the wrong Social Security number on their tax return, if they even remember to enter it at all.
- Names: Often, people misspell the names of all parties on their tax return. Names must match exactly what is printed on the person’s Social Security Cards.
- Filing Status: It’s important to select the correct filing status. This is one of the benefits of e-filing, because the software will help you select the status that applies to you.
- Accounting: Math mistakes are extremely common for those who file paper tax returns. Using e-filing eliminates these mistakes because the software takes care of all of the calculations for you.
- Credits/Deductions: Many taxpayers run into errors when calculating the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child and Dependent Care Credit.
- Bank Account: Another common mistake is entering the incorrect bank account number or routing number on your tax return when opting for direct deposit. If you want your return as quick as possible, consider combining direct deposit with e-filing.
- Unsigned Forms: Tax returns that aren’t signed are invalid, including those signed by only one party on a joint return. All persons must include their signature.
- PIN Errors: If you e-file regularly, you can use a Personal Identification Number to sign your tax return. The number you used last year is still valid this year, provided you remember it. If not, you can use your Adjusted Gross Income from your original previous year’s return. You can’t use the AGI from a corrected or amended return, however.