Check, Check and Double Check Your Taxes

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Double Check for Tax Filing Mistakes

Top 10 Taxpayers’ Goofs

To err is human and we are ALL human. Apparently as taxpayers, we keep making the same mistakes on tax returns. As another tax season kicks off you, let’s all double check our work. Here is where we need to focus:

  1. Missing or inaccurate Socials (SSNs)

Nine digits but way more chances than that to mess it up. Each Social Security number on a return should appear exactly as printed on the Social Security card, but frequently we mistype. (Also, be sure to check that you’ve given the right number to employers and financial institutions.)

  1. Misspelled names

On the classic show “The Odd Couple” when Oscar Madison accidently typed his last name as “Madisoy” and it was a mess from there on out. Oops, now the IRS must sort it out and that can mean more headaches. Easy reminder for everyone: Match the names of all taxpayers and dependents listed on the return to the names on their Social Security cards.

  1. Filing too early

Ok you don’t want to file late, but you can actually file too early! Wait until you have al your reporting documents.

  1. Inaccurate information

Wages, dividends, bank interest, other income (do not forget those gig jobs …) simply must add up to the correct amounts to calculate tax, credits and deductions. In an age when every smart phone can be a scientific calculator in a second, it’s amazing how many folks still fumble this.

  1. Incorrect filing status

You would think most people would know if they’re filing taxes with somebody else. Or if they’re married, but it happens more often that you would think.

  1. Incorrect bank account numbers

Direct deposit’s a dandy way to funnel that refund right into your wallet — but only if the IRS knows where to funnel it. Let’s try to remember to check that routing number on the lower left.

  1. Double check for math mistakes

Abundantly common and ranging from simple addition and subtraction to more complex calculations – we all have these issues. There is no law against double-checking before submitting.

  1. Figuring credits or deductions

This one can be tough given the changes in federal tax every four years, and in just the few years of the pandemic. Especially tricky: the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Credit and the Child Tax Credit. So this one you get a pass on – but ask a pro if you need help.

  1. Unsigned forms

An unsigned tax return won’t fly, though there can be exceptions made for members of the armed forces or taxpayers who have a valid power of attorney. The reality is that this is a HUGE item to double check.

  1. Disreputable tax preparers

No matter how often you clean out the barrel, rotten apples get in. Be sure to go with someone with verifiable credentials or positive online reviews.