Did you know that the average taxpayer spends about 12 hours preparing their tax return? Have you begun gathering all of your data in order to complete your 2018 tax return? Remember, after spending so much time planning your return, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake because you were rushing. Simple errors can cause your refund to be delayed. The following are some frequent tax return errors and what you can do to avoid them. Get Organized: If you haven’t already gathered your tax information, you should do it now. Missing information has the ability to cost you money you don’t need.
Incorrect Social Security # or ID: Because the IRS compares all returns with the Social Security Administration’s database, the SS# must match what’s on your Social Security card. It’s also possible to get so caught up in the numbers that you forget to sign your return or enter other important information. Even having the wrong name can cause issues. These issues frequently arise following a marriage or divorce, particularly if you have not told Social Security.
Mistakes in Filing Status: There are five filing status options (Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow w/ dependent) that are used to determine your filing requirements (standard deduction, eligibility for credits, deductions, and your correct tax). One of the first steps in submitting your return is determining the proper filing status for you.
Math Mistakes and Errors: With so many numbers to enter on your tax forms, it’s easy to commit simple math errors. If the IRS discovers the mistakes, they may recalculate them for you, but not in your favour. As a result, you should double-check your calculations before submitting your forms. Miscalculations involving taxable income, withholdings, anticipated tax payments, and miscellaneous tax credits, in addition to probable math errors, are possible.
Incorrect Bank Account Numbers for Direct Deposit: To ensure that you receive your return in a timely way, double check your bank’s routing number and account number. Paying your taxes on time is just as vital to avoid fines and interest.
Underreported Money: Don’t forget to include income from sources other than your job. Interest income, savings dividends, rental income, and earnings from a second employment are all examples of this. Make certain to add up all of your income statements (W-2s, 1099s, K-1s and 1098s). Remember that the IRS receives copies of all of those documents.
Filing Late or Not at All: Many of us can become overwhelmed by minutiae and fail to file our taxes on time or at all. The IRS will eventually catch up with you and send you a charge for the interest and penalties you incurred by not following the regulations. If you can’t reach the April 15th deadline, you can ask for a six-month extension and avoid the penalties if you pay any taxes owed by the deadline.
Start Saving: It’s always a good idea to save, whether you owe the IRS or are expecting a refund. Because reimbursements are often delayed, you won’t be able to pay your bills while you wait for your return. Make sure you set aside a percentage of your money immediately so you can cover any unforeseen expenses.
Make sensible use of your return: If you are expecting a return this year, make sure you make the most of it. Before you spend it, develop a list of your most pressing financial demands and apply the refund to them.
My advice is to prepare your tax return when you have fewer distractions. If you’re interrupted or distracted, put down what you’re doing and come back later. Spending a little additional time on your tax return will help you submit an accurate return. You can avoid receiving a letter from Uncle Sam informing you that you owe additional funds by following these simple guidelines.
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