Filling out an accurate and complete tax return form is important. When it’s incorrect or isn’t filled out all the way, it takes longer to process and fix which can delay a refund. Here are the 8 most common mistakes tax payers make on their forms according to the IRS:
- Inaccurate social security numbers. Double check your social security number and make sure it’s the exact same number that is on your SSN card. This error is easy to avoid but will cause a lot of pain if not caught in time.
- Misspelled names. Again double check the you’ve spelled everything as it appears on the SSN card. No nicknames! It’s an easier mistake to make then you might think.
- Filing status. Make sure you read all the filing statuses so you can find the one that most accurately describes your situation. The IRS mentions a common mistake is to chose “Head of Household” instead of “Single”. The Interactive Tax Assistant on the IRS website can help you if you’re confused.
- Math Mistakes. Double check your math. It’s easy to make a simple addition or subtraction error. Use a calculator and check your math twice to make sure you get the same answer before writing it down. If you have to figure out percentages or something more complex, consider using an E-File software.
- Figuring credits or deductions. It can be easy to make a mistake trying to figure out the right deductions. To make sure you are doing it correctly, read and reread the instructions to make sure you understand. Again the Interactive Tax Assistant may be a helpful tool if you are still confused.
- Incorrect bank account numbers. This is a part of the form you really don’t want to mess up if you have a refund. Picking the direct deposit option is the quickest way to receive your refund as long as your account and routing numbers are correct. Double check all the numbers before you hit submit.
- Unsigned forms. An unsigned tax return is not valid. Remember to sign, whether you sign electronically or on paper, before submitting. Double checking everything is signed where it needs to be can save you a big headache later.
- Filing with an expired ITIN. If you’re tax return is filed with an expired ITIN you’ll get a notice informing you that is the case and that your refund will be issued once you renew your ITIN. Double checking that your ITIN isn’t expired before filing can save you time in the long run.
A lot of these mistakes can be avoided just by double checking numbers and making sure everything looks good before you submit. If you’re nervous about filing, we highly recommend trying some of the websites that will help you file and double check all your information for you! Here are some of the more common sites:
Turbotax (free at first, easiest to use)
TaxSlayer (good on a budget)
TaxAct (good on a budget)
H&RBlock (if you need more support)