10 common tax-filing mistakes to avoid

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com Tax cooking software is preventing more taxpayers from making mistakes on their annual tax returns. still, just one slip in entering data on your calculator could end up costing you — in the class of a larger tax charge or a smaller refund.

even if a mistake, whether on your calculator or newspaper forms, doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate monetary value you cash, it could delay your refund .
here are 10 common tax-filing mistakes that show up every tax temper. As you review your tax refund for file by the April 18 deadline, make indisputable you haven ’ thymine made any of them .

1. Math miscalculations

The most common erroneousness on tax returns, class after year, is bad mathematics. Mistakes in arithmetical or in transferring figures from one schedule to another will get you an immediate discipline notice. Math mistakes besides can reduce your tax refund or resultant role in you owing more than you thought. Using a tax-software program to file your return can help reduce mathematics errors. The built-in calculators do the solve for you, adding, subtracting and inserting numbers on extra forms as needed. But you calm have to make certain your initial numbers are right. Entering $ 3,500 when the actual visualize is $ 5,300 makes a set of tax deviation. Getting the numbers properly is crucial because you can be sure the IRS will be double-check numeric entries against its copies of your tax statements ( W-2, 1099s and the like ). When IRS examiners find a discrepancy, they ’ ll decidedly let you know and, in many cases, will correct your err and refigure your taxes for you. Don ’ triiodothyronine give them the casual. Make certain your mathematics entries are right .

2. Computation errors

These are cousins to the standard mathematics mistakes. In these calculation cases, taxpayers or their tax pros make mistakes in figuring such tax-return entries as taxable income, withholding and estimated tax payments. Credits and special deductions besides pose problems. Errors regularly show up, says the IRS, in figuring the earned income recognition, the taxable sum of Social Security benefits or in calculating the larger standard discount for taxpayers who are historic period 65 or older or blind. A coarse connection in all of these errors is total worksheets or forms before the amounts are transferred to the taxpayer ’ s Form 1040. rate research : In the grocery store for a rewards credit tease ? Find and apply for credit cards from Bankrate.com ’ s partners today !

3. Misspelled or different names

The IRS is all about numbers, but words — specifically name — are significant, besides. When the names of a taxpayer, his or her spouse or their children don ’ t match the tax recognition number that the Social Security Administration, or SSA, has on commemorate, that deviation will cause the IRS to kick out or slow down processing of the tax revert .
This much is a problem for fresh wives. many women change their surnames when they marry. That ’ randomness besides an option for spouses in same-sex marriages, which the IRS now recognizes. If you didn ’ thymine alert the SSA of your name change soon after your marriage, do sol immediately to ensure that your new name won ’ t cause a trouble when you file your first joint tax return. And if marital bliss doesn ’ t last and you change your name after a disassociate, make sure Uncle Sam ’ second allow agencies know that, excessively .

4. Direct deposit dangers

Taxpayers can have a refund directly deposited into multiple bank accounts. This option is a great way to save your refund money, but the more numbers you enter on a tax form, the more chances you have to enter them falsely. And a wrong account or routing number could cause you to lose your refund wholly. You can divide your refund into 3 accounts by filing Form 8888 along with your person return. It ’ s not a difficult document to complete, but if you put in wrong account numbers, your refund could end up in person else ’ mho report or be sent back to the IRS. Either way, you might not be able to retrieve your refund because there is no IRS operation for replacing lost electronically transferred funds. Incorrect account numbers aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate precisely a problem when a refund is split multiple ways. even if your refund is going to just one report, make very certain you enter your bill and bank routing numbers correctly .

5. Additional income, additional filing work

Did you have a side problem this class ? If sol, as a contractor you probably received a Form 1099-MISC detailing the extra earnings.

What about savings and investing accounts ? For these, you should have received Form 1099-INT and Form 1099-DIV statements. In each 1099 case, the IRS knows precisely how much excess money ( either as wages or unearned investment income ) you made a soon as you did, thanks to the fiscal firms who sent copies of your 1099 forms to the tax agency .
If you forget to include any of these earnings on your return, the IRS examiners will let you know you owe taxes on them, besides. And depending on when your oversight is discovered, you besides could owe penalties and interest on the unreported earnings .

6. Filing status errors

Make certain you choose the correct filing status for your site. You have five options, and each could make a difference in your ultimate tax bill. If this is the first tax-filing season since your divorce and you now are a single parent, writing “ mind of family ” credibly will be more beneficial. And what if you ’ re inactive married, but you and your spouse are thinking about filing separate tax returns ? That works in some cases, but not all. Make sure you know what each tax-filing condition entails, and choose the one that best fits your personal tax site .

7. Social Security number oversights

Because the IRS has stopped putting taxpayer Social Security numbers on tax package labels in reply to privacy concerns, some taxpayers forget to write in their identification numbers. Your tax ID number is crucial because there are indeed many transactions — income statements, savings account interest, retirement plan contributions — keyed to this phone number. The nine-digit sequence is vital to claim several tax credits, such as the child tax and extra child tax credits, a well as ones for educational expenses and dependent-care costs. rate search : Looking for a high-yielding keep open account ? Compare rates at Bankrate.com now !

8. Complete charitable contributions

Do you give to charitable groups ? All types of donations, from cash to cars, could be valuable tax deductions, therefore make sure you count them all when you file. Be certain to follow the contribution tax rules, the most important being that you give to a certified organization — that is, one that has tax-exempt security condition with the IRS. besides be careful when calculating any gifts of dress and family items. Tax law now requires that these donations be in estimable or better condition or the deduction is disallowed. And remember that the amount you can claim for donate goods is the clean market rate of the items ; that ’ s what a uncoerced buyer would pay for it in its current condition, not what you paid for it .

9. Signature required

sign of the zodiac and date your render. The IRS won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate process it if it ’ mho missing a John Hancock, and that means on e-filed returns, excessively. Taxpayers filing electronically must sign the return electronically using a personal recognition number, or PIN. To verify your identity, you ’ ll have to provide the PIN you used last class or your adjusted megascopic income from your previous year ’ s tax return. If you prepare your own taxes and file electronically, you must verify your identity by entering either the adjust gross income sum from your 2015 tax tax return or the self-select PIN you used last year. The IRS says using an electronic file PIN is nobelium longer an choice. generally, tax planning software auto-fills this information for returning customers, but if you are using a modern intersection for the first time, you may have to enter the information yourself. If you ’ re still mailing your hark back, don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate be in such a rush that you stuff your 1040 in the envelope without signing it. And if it ’ s a joint file, both you and your spouse must sign .

10. Missing the deadline

Millions of taxpayers put off file until the very survive minute. That ’ south very well angstrom long as your mail paper reelect is postmarked by the April charge deadline or you hit “ enter ” to e-file your 1040 by midnight of the deadline day. The good news is that, because April 15 lands on Saturday in 2017, and because Emancipation Day is celebrated in Washington D.C. on Monday, April 17, the tax due date is pushed to Tuesday, April 18.

If you calm can ’ t get your forms finished by then, file form 4868 by the deadline. This will give you a 6-month extension, until mid-October, to submit your tax forms. But be sure to send any tax you owe with your extension request. If you don ’ metric ton, you could face late-filing or non-filing penalties. cipher wants to pay Uncle Sam a penny more than necessary, so don ’ t make the mistake of missing the filing deadline. rate SEARCH : quick to buy a house ? Compare mortgage rates at Bankrate.com .

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