Avoid these 5 common tax return errors

Avoid these 5 common tax return errors

This article was last edited on January 16, 2018. For updated information on filing mistakes, read more here.

You don’t want to get audited by the IRS, but you do want a fast refund and an easy filing experience. We can all agree with that.

We can also agree that everyone makes mistakes. While you shouldn’t beat yourself up for making them, it’s important to be extra diligent when preparing your tax return.

The solution seems simple enough: If you want to avoid questions from the IRS, be forthcoming. If you want a quick refund, make sure the numbers you enter are accurate. If you want an easier filing experience, ensure you do it right, the first time.

Here are the 5 most common tax return errors to avoid:

  1. Choosing the wrong filing status. A lot can happen in a year—marriage, divorce, death in the family. Major life changes will impact your taxes, particularly your filing status.

 Be sure you know and understand the five filing statuses: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. If you don’t know the difference between head of household and single, for example, TaxSlayer can help. The IRS also has a tool to help you choose your filing status.

  1. Entering the wrong numbers. Pay close attention when you enter your Social Security number and bank account information on your tax return, and be careful with your math. You’re more likely to make a mistake if you’re doing your own calculations on a paper return.

If you’re still filing your taxes the old-fashioned way, it’s time to consider switching to electronic filing (“e-filing”), the filing method preferred by the IRS.

Today many taxpayers prefer using tax preparation software, like the software developed by TaxSlayer. The calculations are done for you, and you’re alerted when a number you’ve entered doesn’t look right.

  1. Missing credits or deductions. Research the credits for which you qualify and the deductions you can claim before you start your tax return. All of TaxSlayer’s e-filing packages—including the FREE edition—feature a deduction finder. It’s just one of the ways we help you get your maximum refund.
  2. Omitting other income. You’ve already entered the income from your W-2 on your tax return (what more do they want?!) It turns out that all income must be reported. This “other” income won’t necessarily show up on your W-2. Take, for example, self-employed income, which is reported by your client on Form 1099-MISC.

So, remember to report less common types of income you earned this past year.

  1. Forgetting to sign. Taxpayers do all that work preparing their tax return, only to forget their signature. Problem is, tax returns without signatures (whether the signature is electronic or handwritten) can’t be processed. Don’t forget to sign.


TaxSlayer customers have the advantage because their tax return is checked for errors and missing data, which ensures every tax return is processed by the IRS without delay. Not only do our customers get an accurate tax return, but they also get the maximum refund, guaranteed. Add to that our superior customer service. Our customer support representatives are there to answer questions every step of the way.

If you’re not a TaxSlayer yet, what are you waiting for? E-file today for free.