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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing Your Taxes

March 20, 2014

Even if you are getting your return professionally prepared, or you use tax software for preparing taxes, if you are aware of and scan for common mistakes on a return, you will be able to spot them quickly and correct them. Making a minor mistake on your tax return does not lead to any penalty, but it will delay the processing of your tax return and therefore your tax refund. If you cannot afford to hire a professional for tax preparation, you may use free tax help provided by the IRS for tax return preparation.

1.        Miscalculations

Mathematics is not everybody’s cup of tea, but when filing taxes, you need to check and re-check your calculations. Even though minor miscalculations are corrected by the IRS, it is best to redo the calculations before filing. A tax software program will not miscalculate, but you should make sure that you have put in the correct numbers in the first place.

2.      Bank Account Numbers for Direct Deposit

Taxpayers that enter multiple bank account numbers on their tax return may be more vulnerable to mistakes than those who use one bank account to receive their refund. Making a mistake in entering the bank account numbers can mean losing the entire or a part of the refund amount. The IRS does not have the means to replace lost refunds that are electronically transferred.

3.      Misspelling Names

Along with numbers, you also need to be careful when entering your name(s) on a tax return. The name on your tax return must be the same as that on your Social Security. If you have your name changed after marriage or after a divorce, make sure that the IRS is informed about it.

4.      Choosing Filing Status

When filing taxes, choose the correct filing status. The most appropriate filing status is one that you qualify for and reduces your tax bill the most. You have five filing options to choose from namely single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. To determine your correct filing status, you may use this IRS resource.

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