There’s no need to freak out even though the April 18 tax filing date is less than two weeks away. With the best tax preparation software, you can file your tax return swiftly and receive your refund right away. Don’t let the pressure of submitting your taxes cause careless errors as tax day approaches. Accidental mistakes made in a hurry can cause your tax refund to be denied or delayed, sometimes for months.
Double-check our list of typical tax return mistakes below if you want to get your entire refund on schedule. The IRS will allow you five days to update your information and resubmit your tax return if your return is rejected and you have filed your taxes on time.
Continue reading to find out how to prevent the most typical tax filing errors. Learn how to file your taxes for free and how to take advantage of the child tax credit for additional financial advice.
Mistake No. 1: Filing a late tax return
Approximately 20% of taxpayers, according to the IRS, put off filing their tax forms until a week before the due date. That’s not inherently a bad strategy if you owe the IRS money, but if a refund is on the way, you’re playing with fire.
When it comes to taxes, putting them off leaves little room for error, and failing to file them on time will undoubtedly exacerbate the situation with your tax refund. A late filing charge and additional penalties will be assessed if you owe money to the IRS.
Up until October 18, you can submit a free six-month tax extension, but you’ll have to pay any estimated taxes due and you’ll be out money if you’re anticipating a refund.
Mistake No. 2: Misspelling names or entering wrong Social Security numbers
Although this error might seem absurd, it happens more frequently than you might imagine. Make careful to enter both the exact Social Security number and your full name exactly as it appears on your identification document. Your tax return will be disregarded if either are not precisely the same. If your legal name has changed, you must first update the Social Security Administration’s records before filing your taxes under your correct identity.
Mistake No. 3: Entering the wrong AGI from last year
The IRS utilises your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from the previous tax year to verify your identity when you file your tax return electronically. In order to submit your 2022 taxes online, you must have your exact AGI from your 2021 tax return. Your tax return will be rejected and you’ll have to re-file if your AGI does not equal that of the previous year.
You can look up your AGI for 2021 by requesting an instant transcript on the IRS website if you’ve misplaced your tax return from the previous year, but you’ll first need to register for a free online IRS account. When filing your return for this year, you should enter $0 if you didn’t pay taxes for the previous year.
Mistake No. 4: Using an incorrect filing status
US filers have a number of tax filing options, including Head of Household, Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, and Single. The standard deduction, credit eligibility, and total tax burden are all based on your filing status.
You can assess your own situation and choose the best option with the assistance of the What Is My Filing Status? tool provided by the IRS. You will at most need to submit an amended return with Form 1040-X if your filing status is incorrect. The IRS might, at worst, assume tax fraud and look into it.
Mistake No. 5: Making math errors with credits or deductions
The worksheets and regulations for many of these tax items, including the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, mortgage interest deduction, and child care deduction, can be challenging to compute on your own. A wrong computation or mistyped number can produce an inaccurate tax refund, which means you could lose money or have to pay back an excess with fees and penalties.
By gathering and computing all of the information required to file your taxes properly, good tax software will almost completely eliminate these kinds of errors. All of the best tax preparation software provides accuracy guarantees that will cover any losses or fines if their calculation mistakes are discovered. For tax software to function properly, you’ll still need to input accurate information, so make sure to triple-check all your figures before filing. The IRS’s Interactive Tax Assistant can assist with a variety of credit and deduction computations if you’d rather do your taxes yourself the old-fashioned way.
Mistake No. 6: Getting bank account or routing numbers wrong
According to the IRS, if you file online and use direct deposit, you should receive your refund in about 21 days. When you file your tax return, it won’t function if you enter the incorrect bank account or routing number. It’s too late to alter your banking information once the IRS has accepted your return.
Although you can set up alerts with the Postal Service to know when it will arrive, the IRS estimates that it will take six to eight weeks for a paper check to be mailed to you at the mailing address given on your tax return if the IRS cannot transfer your refund online into your bank account.
The IRS may deposit your tax refund funds into a different person’s bank account if you unintentionally submit legitimate account and routing numbers that are not yours on your tax return. In that case, you’ll need to get in touch with the bank and probably go to a location in person to show identification and provide evidence for the situation. You’ll get a paper check in the mail from the IRS after you convince the bank to refund the funds.
Mistake No. 7: Forgetting to sign your tax return
Your tax reimbursement will be significantly delayed if you file your tax return on paper. If you submit it without a signature, the IRS will refuse it and ask you to submit it again, which will slow down the process significantly.
The tax return must be signed by both spouses if you are married and filing jointly. For those who require the use of a third party with power of attorney, such as current military personnel stationed abroad, there are exceptions. You won’t ever have to think about this error if you file electronically and digitally sign your return. Learn about the advantages of filing your taxes early and all the tax breaks that may be available to residents for additional tax advice.