Grant McNuttIf you filed for an Extension of time to file your 2017 Federal Tax Return, you have until October 15, 2018 to submit your return.

To make sure you meet your tax obligations, you should file an accurate tax return. If you make an error on your tax return, it will likely take longer to process and could delay a refund. You can avoid many common errors by filing electronically, which is the most accurate way to file a tax return.

Here are several common errors to avoid when preparing your tax return:

  1. Missing or Inaccurate Social Security numbers – You should check to be sure and enter each SSN on your tax return exactly as it is printed on your Social Security card. This includes any dependents.
  2. Misspelled Names – You should double check that you have spelled all names listed on a tax return exactly as listed on your Social Security card. Again, this includes any dependents.
  3. Filing Status – Make sure you do not claim the wrong filing status, such as Head of Household instead of Single. If you are unsure, use the following link on the IRS website called the Interactive Tax Assistant to help you choose the correct status. Most E-file software also helps you this prevent mistake.
  4. Math Mistakes – Math errors are one of the most common mistakes, ranging from simple addition and subtraction to more complex items. Figuring the taxable portion of a pension, IRA distribution or Social Security benefits is more difficult and results in more errors. You should always double check your math. Better yet, using tax preparation software does it automatically.
  5. Figuring Credits or Deductions – Another common mistake is the figuring of Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), Child and Dependent Care Credit and the Standard Deduction. Each form has detailed step-by-step instructions, so please follow them carefully. For example, if you are 65 or older, or blind, you should claim the correct, higher standard deduction, that is if you are not itemizing.
  6. Incorrect Bank Account Numbers – If you are due a refund you should choose direct deposit for ease and convenience, but make sure you double check to make sure you are using the correct bank routing and bank account numbers on your tax return so it deposits safely into “your” account.
  7. Unsigned Forms – If everything is perfect and you have not signed your return, it is not valid. If you are filing with a spouse and one of you fails to sign the return, it is not valid. There is an exception for some members of the military who are not present and are defending this wonderful country. You can avoid this error by filing your return electronically and digitally signing it before sending it to the IRS.

If you owe tax debt, please still make sure to file your return. A common and often fatal error is failing to actually file your return because you owe the IRS money. If you do, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.

 

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