With just a few weeks left until the tax deadline, you may be in a frenzy to complete your return. During this frantic time, it is not unusual to make mistakes that may cost you time and money. In other words, errors can lead to longer processing times by the IRS which means delayed refunds.
As you prepare your return, take note of these common filing mistakes and how to avoid making such errors.
- Missed deductions and exemptions. Deductions and exemptions reduce the amount of taxed income. In some cases, they can be a determining factor between getting a refund or owing the IRS. Thus, it is important that you are aware of applicable deductions and exemptions. It is also important that you calculate them accurately. Some of the more overlooked deductions and exemptions are:
- Student loan interest
- Child and dependent care expense
- Personal contributions and donations
- Sales tax (if you can itemize on Schedule A)
- Unsigned documents. Sign all appropriate documents and make sure your spouse signs if filing a joint return. When filing electronically, you will sign using a personal identification number (PIN). If you do not have a PIN, you can enter your adjusted gross income (AGI) from the previous year.
- Incorrect personal information. Be sure to input the correct names and Social Security numbers for yourself, as well your spouse and dependents if applicable. If you are expecting a refund and elect to receive it by direct deposit, make sure you enter the correct routing and account numbers.
- Wrong filing status. There are five different options to choose from when selecting your filing status. It’s imperative to choose the right one as it will impact the outcome of your tax return.
The best advice to avoid mistakes is to take your time and file over the course of a few days. Give yourself time to complete the return and double check your information and calculations. TaxSlayer will navigate you throughout the filing process, providing alerts along the way and making necessary calculations. With TaxSlayer, you can also contact a customer support specialist if you have any filing questions.