5 Tax Filing Mistakes To Avoid

common tax filing mistakes

As the date to file your income taxes draws nearer, we find ourselves working against the clock to get our taxes filed and that part of our year behind is. This time, though, does not come without a certain amount of stress and worry. Did I do everything correctly? Did I remember to include everything? Did I pay in enough? Can I lower my tax liability? Did I make a mistake that could come back to haunt me at a later date? Mistakes happen, and the IRS always catches them. That’s why it’s your job to find them, fix them and make sure you are able to file your return without them in the first place. You’re only human, so mistakes happen; but we can help you discern which tax mistakes are the most common so you can avoid making them.

Incorrect Names

I know what you are thinking: How on earth do you honestly think I would mess up my own name? Sadly, it actually happens. When you make a mistake like this, it’s not usually your own name you misspell. It’s usually a dependent or a spouse, and that can cause some issues with your income tax return.

Status Error

You might not think that the IRS will notice if you accidentally check the wrong filing status box, but they will. If you are not a widower or you are not single, they’ll notice. Additionally, if you don’t double check that you did check the wrong box, you will find that you are unable to get back the maximum refund or even pay in the least amount of tax.

Mathematical Mistakes

The IRS does the math for you, and they’re happy to fix your mistakes. It’s not even a big deal when they find a math error and correct it, but a simple mathematical error could be the difference between a big refund and owing money.

Social Security Number Mistakes

It happens; don’t sweat it. Just be sure to double check that all your numbers are correct. If you e-file your return, the IRS will let you know right away whether they are wrong or not so that you can correct the numbers and resubmit your return. However, if you mail your return to the IRS, it could take weeks to find out you need to fix your mistakes.

Bad Bank Account Number

If you are expecting a tax refund, you might want it to come to your bank account. If you input an incorrect checking account or routing number, though, you could have far bigger problems with which to contend. Your refund will not be deposited, and you will find that you have to wait for a paper check to show up in the mail.

Photo by Getty Images

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