Make sure tax contact and identification details are accurate

Most taxpayers go through the details of their income tax returns with a fine-tooth comb before submitting them to the IRS. But many individuals are less diligent when it comes to reviewing the basic details on their tax forms, such as the spelling of their name, their Social Security number of date of birth and, commonly, their home address. These errors may seem minor, but they can cause tax problems and delay the delivery of your refund.

According to the IRS, the agency is currently holding on to 99,123 tax refunds this year amounting to roughly $153.3 million that it is unable to deliver to consumers due to mailing address errors. The average refund check amounted to $1,547 this year, the agency said.

The agency suggested that filing electronic, rather than paper returns, may not only speed up the time it takes the IRS to process individuals' returns, but may also reduce the incidences of lost return. In addition, consumers can elect to have their refunds deposited directly into the bank account of their choice or split and delivered to multiple accounts.

Although these actions may speed up the process and mitigate mistakes, it is still important that taxpayers pay close attention to their contact details and make changes when necessary. For example, a common mistake many newlyweds make is filing jointly under the new last name without waiting for the name change to be processed by the Social Security Administration. This can cause problems during filing season because the tax records of the individual filer will still be listed under the Social Security number attached to the old last name. Therefore, when the newlywed tries to file under the new last prior to waiting for the SSA systems to catch up, the tax records on file will not match.

The same holds true for ensuring the correct Social Security number and date of birth are listed. Small mistakes may mess up the system and delay the process overall. Individuals may benefit from having a third party, such as a tax preparer, fill out the relevant information because this may prompt taxpayers to read or recite their information more closely. Individuals who notice these errors on their tax forms should correct them immediately to prevent filing errors.

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Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.

About Liberty Tax Service
Liberty Tax Service is the fastest -growing retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 8,000,000 individual income tax returns. With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes “Top 20 Franchises to Start,” and ranks #1 of the tax franchises on the Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Each office provides computerized income tax preparation, electronic filing, and online filing through eSmart Tax. 
Posted To: Tax Ranger's Blog By: Tax Ranger On: Tuesday, December 06, 2011
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