Avoid these common IRS tax filing mistakes.
Money & Finances: Tips & Tricks
As IRS tax deadlines approach, it's important to double check your tax filings for accuracy. Here are the top 8 mistakes to avoid...
Check that SSN
One of the more common mistakes that's far too easy to make is to enter the wrong social security number (SSN) for yourself or spouse. This is just as bad as forgetting to enter your SSN altogether.
Check Your Name
If your name is Robert E. Lee according to your social security card then make sure you enter it that way. Your friends may call you Bob Lee but this could cause issues with the Internal Revenue Service on your tax return.
Another common name issue is with those who are recently married and changed their last name to that of their spouse. You'll need to alert the Social Security Administration to your new name so that it all matches up with IRS records.
Receive Any 1099's?
A 1099 is a form you get when you receive money as a contractor or from interest or dividend income. These get linked to your SSN. That means the IRS was already alerted to the 1099, the money you received, and is now expecting you to enter these on your tax return. Failing to do so could be a big red flag.
With some many numbers to enter and report it's easy to screw things up. Using tax software still requires you to enter numbers so it's easy to "fat finger" the keyboard or switch two digits. $3,289 and can easily get entered as $2,389. Double check your math.
Check Bank Account Numbers
Getting your refund via a direct deposit (ACH) is the smart way to go. As with any type of data entry, entering accurate information is key. Check and double check that you enter correct account and routing numbers for your bank.
Sign Your Returns
Seems like an obvious one, right? Still, this is an easy one to overlook. You must sign your returns in the spot listed on your tax return forms. Skipping this means your forms will be late and that could mean penalties and interest.
Use Correct Filing Status
Make sure you choose the correct filing status. There are five to choose from: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow with dependent child. Not sure which to use? See IRS Publication 501 or find yourself a tax professional.
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