avoid-tax-mistakesLet’s face it, filing taxes can be complicated and time consuming. Trying to file your own return can be frustrating and overwhelming at times. You hope you have completed everything correctly when you’re done with it, as you don’t want to have your return delayed, or worst yet, rejected or adjusted by Uncle Sam because your return has mistakes on it. The IRS has recently announced the most common errors taxpayers make every year on their tax returns. Being aware of these oversights could prevent delays or adjustments to your return. Here are the most common mistakes to steer clear of: 1. Incorrect or missing Social Security Number — Make sure you enter you Social Security number exactly how it is printed on your Social Security card. Sometime we type too fast and inertly transpose numbers while entering them. One method to verify your entries is to speak-out your number one-by-one as you are reading your card. This may sound silly, but people simply go to quick and don’t realize there is a mistake until they hear it out-load. 2. Misspelling of dependent’s last name — When entering your dependent’s last name on the return, make sure it’s the same name that is printed on their Social Security card. 3. Filing status errors — Finding the correct filing status may not be so easy for taxpayers with children or taxpayers that are married. There are five filing statuses: Single, Married Filing Joint, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualified Widow(er). If you file your taxes using tax software Taxbrain.com, click on the “Help Me Decide” link located on the Filing Status page to help find the correct filing status for your situation. You can also reference IRS Publication 501 for more information. 4. Math and computation errors — Generally, these errors occur when taxpayers try to wing-it on their own by manually calculating and handwriting a paper return. By using tax software and electronically filing, the software does the math for you! 5. Income and Withholding Errors — Many taxpayers miss reporting incomes (such as unemployment, social security, or interest) and withholdings and estimated tax payments. Take your time to review your complete your return and review it thoroughly. One recommendation is to create a checklist of all the incomes and estimated taxes paid. Check off the check items that you have reported on your return, so that any outstanding item on your checklist is visible prior to filing. 6. Incorrect Direct Deposit Account Number — Double-check the account routing and account numbers are correct if you getting a refund. If the account information is not right, your refund will turn into a paper check and you will have to wait an additional week or two to get your money. 7. Forgetting to sign and date the return — If you are filing by paper, an unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check — it’s invalid. Keep in mind if filing a joint return, both spouses must sign the return. 8. Incorrect Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) — If you file electronically using self-service tax software, such as Taxbrain.com, you must sign the return electronically using a PIN number. To verify your ID, tax softwares will prompt you to enter your prior year’s AGI from your originally filed return. Do not make the mistake of using an AGI from an amended return (filed using Form1040X), or a math-error correction made by the IRS, as the IRS will reject the return if you use them. Just remember to reference your AGI (line 37 on Form 1040) on your originally filed return, and you will be fine. With a Taxbrain account, you can get all the free technical support you need to prepare your own taxes. Learn more, visit Taxbrain.com today. Vincent Mangiapane, EA Federal Analyst, Taxbrain