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Common Tax Mistakes

The following checklist will help you avoid common tax errors:
  1. Did you use the peel-off label and enter any corrections?

  2. If you do not have a label, or there are too many corrections, did you clearly print your name, social security number, and address, including zip code directly on your return?

  3. Did you enter the names and social security numbers for yourself, your spouse, your dependents, and qualifying children for earned income credit, exactly as they appear on the social security cards? If there have been any name changes be sure to contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

  4. Did you check only one filing status?

  5. Did you check the appropriate exemption boxes and enter the names and social security numbers exactly as they appear on the Social Security Card, for all of the dependents claimed? Is the total number of exemptions entered?

  6. Did you enter income, deductions, and credits on the correct lines and are the totals correct?

  7. If you show a negative amount on your return, did you put brackets around it?

  8. If you are taking the standard deduction and checked any box indicating either you or your spouse was age 65 or older or blind, did you find the correct amount to enter on line 21 of Form 1040A or line 36 of Form 1040?

  9. Did you figure the tax correctly? If you used the Tax Tables, did you use the correct column for your filing status?

  10. Did you indicate the amount of your overpayment you want applied to your l999 Estimated Tax? (If you do not enter an amount, the full overpayment will be refunded to you).

  11. Did you sign and date the return? If it is a joint return, did your spouse also sign and date the return?

  12. Do you have a Form W2 from all of your employers and did you attach Copy B of each to your return? File only one return, even if you have more than one job. Combine the wages from all Forms W-2's on one return.

  13. Did you attach any Forms 1099 that show tax withheld?

  14. Did you attach all other necessary schedules and forms in sequence number order given in the upper right-hand corner?

  15. If you owe tax, did you enclose a check or money order with the return and write your social security number, tax form, and tax year on the payment?

  16. Did you make a copy of the signed return and all schedules for your records?

Other common errors include:
  • Incorrect or missing social security numbers.

  • Incorrect tax entered from the tables.

  • Computation errors in figuring the child and dependent care credit or the earned income credit. Also, missing or incorrect identification numbers for child care providers.

  • Withholding and estimated tax payments entered on the wrong line.

  • Math errors - both addition and subtraction.

Source: Internal Revenue Service. For more help in preparing your taxes, visit the IRS Digital Daily.



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