Tax preparation involves numerous forms and regulations, and people often make mistakes when tackling the process. With the help of an accountant and by knowing some of the most common errors to avoid, here's how you can file your taxes without issues.
The Most Common Mistakes in Tax Preparation
1. Math Errors
Whether it's an addition error or a complex calculation of the year's expenses, math mistakes are among the most common. The IRS automatically fixes simple errors, but complex ones or too many of them could flag your return for an audit. Double-check all the math with a calculator or tax preparation software, which handles the calculations automatically.
2. Incorrect Bank Account Information
Those who want their refund quickly can sign up for direct deposit rather than having a check mailed. However, an incorrect digit in the account or routing number will cause delays. Check your bank account information more than once.
3. Forgetting to Sign
A return is not valid unless signed. If you forget to sign and date the form, it will be sent back to you, which may result in a late filing. If you're married filing jointly, both spouses need to sign and date the return.
4. Sending the Return to the Wrong Office
Different IRS offices serve varying functions. You can avoid sending your return to the wrong place by filing online. If you must file a paper return, you can find the appropriate office on the IRS website.
5. Incorrectly Listing Dependents
Taxpayers who claim dependents must list all names and taxpayer identification numbers. If using a Social Security number, the name must be listed on the return exactly how it is shown on the person's card.
A tax planning expert will work to ensure your return is error-free. Michael F. Simonds, CPA has more than 30 years of experience in tax preparation for individuals, families, and businesses in Wailuku, HI. Learn more online and call (808) 249-2255 to request a free estimate.