Tax Filing Mistakes
Paying taxes is the duty of every patriotic citizen. However, as the tax deadline approaches, most taxpayers tend to rush in filing their returns. As a result, they tend to make different tax filing mistakes that slow down the processing of their returns. These mistakes can lead to various consequences, such as auditing by the IRS, penalties, more taxes and interest, and missing the claimed refund. Following these mistakes, the IRS found that some errors are common among the taxpayers, which you should avoid when filing your tax returns.
Here are some of the most common tax filing mistakes that you should avoid:
1. Unsigned forms
Any unsigned tax return form is invalid. In fact, the law requires spouses to sign a joint return. However, there might be exceptions for armed forces staff and other taxpayers with a valid power of the attorney.
To avoid this mistake, use the electronic method to file your returns, and digitally sign the forms before you send them to the IRS.
2. Failure to report all your income
Most people often forget they made taxable income. Excluding the income from a tax return might lead to unpaid taxes that are subjected to interest and penalties. You might not know when to get a new tax form like K-1 or 1099.
These forms add income you need to report on a personal income tax return. It is also important to report all your activities in these forms. Once the IRS receives a copy of your income tax return, they check and confirm if there are any variations in their records.
3. Wrong/Inaccurate bank account numbers
Always make sure you double-check your account and routing numbers on your tax return. If you are a taxpayer expecting a refund from the IRS, you should select a direct deposit. It is the fastest and easiest means to receive your money back.
4. Missing credits or deductions
Taxpayers have access to multiple credits and deductions, which might be challenging. Credit or deduction may seem ideal in some instances, while you are restricted to claim or phased out because of your income.
Your filing status may disqualify you from claiming a particular tax break. For example, if you file as married and then file separate with your spouse, you will miss various tax credits or deductions.
To avoid this tax filing mistake, make sure you read and understand the form’s instructions about a specific credit or deduction. Alternatively, talk with your tax expert if you are uncertain about the tax claim.
5. Different or misspelled names
Although the IRS involves numbers, names are also crucial. If your name or that of your wife or children does not match the tax ID number on SSA, the IRS takes time to process your tax return.
However, this mistake is common for new wives. Most women change their surnames after marriage. The IRS also recognizes this option for partners in same-sex marriage. If you forgot to tell the SSA about your name change after marriage, you should act now. By doing so, your new name will not cause an issue while filing your joint tax return.
In case you decide to divorce and change your names, make sure you tell the Social Security Administration.
6. Wrong Social Security Numbers
As a response to privacy worries raised by taxpayers, the IRS no longer put taxpayer SSN on the tax package labels. In turn, a good number of taxpayers make the mistake of not writing or writing the wrong Social Security Numbers.
The correct SSN is essential to help you claim various tax credits, such as dependent-care costs, educational costs, extra child tax credits, child tax, etc.
To avoid this tax filing mistake, make sure you type the right numbers and then use the real Social Security cards to double-check them.
7. Math mistakes
One of the most common mistakes that taxpayers make when filing their tax returns is math errors. These errors range from easy calculations like an addition to complicated calculations. It is worth noting that math is among the essentials things that the IRS inspects on any tax return. Remember, even a simple math error might increase or lower your tax refund.
To avoid this filing mistake, use a tax-software program when filing your tax return. This program has a built-in calculator that does all the work for you. It adds, subtracts, and enters numbers on extra forms as required.
Nevertheless, you need to make sure the starting numbers are all correct. For example, you will get a huge tax difference if you enter $3,500 instead of $5,300. You must enter the correct numbers because the IRS crosschecks the entries using your tax statement.
If the IRS examiners find an error in your tax returns, they will send you a notification. In most cases, they fix your error and then re-figure the taxes on your behalf. Although this sounds good, you should not let that happen.
8. Filing status mistakes
There are five filing status options. These are Qualifying Widow(er) with a dependent child, Head of Household, Married Filing Separately, Married Filing Jointly, and Single. All of these status have a particular definition for tax reasons.
Therefore, you need to choose an ideal status that suits your personal tax circumstances. It is also advisable you understand the details of every tax-filing status to avoid choosing the wrong status.
9. Health care reporting mistakes
Most health care reporting needs might lead to mistakes as they are making their introduction. According to IRS, the most common errors involve not claiming a coverage exclusion and failure to reconcile premium tax credit payments made in advance.
Different states have different personal health insurance requirements. Make sure you understand the requirements of your state.
10. Missing the deadline
Is this a surprise? No, it is human nature. Each year, millions of taxpayers postpone filing their tax returns until the last minute. In turn, they end up making the mistake of missing the deadline.
If you cannot finish filing your tax return forms by the set deadline, you should file Form 4868 before the deadline. This gives you an extra 6-months’ time to file and send your tax forms. Nonetheless, make sure you send all the tax you owe along with your extension request. Failure to do so will attract non-filing or late-filing penalties.
All the above tax-filing mistakes are simple and avoidable, but taxpayers keep repeating them over and again. To avoid any of these mistakes, avoid filing your returns on the last day or you may take a help from the experts of this field.
However, many financial service firms do not provide specified services to small businesses or individuals, but at United Business Owners Solutions we make sure to work closely with you to offer you all our services in the best possible manner. So, if you are looking for an assistance related to tax filing, tax planning or investments, do get in touch with us. We assure you that we won’t disappoint you.