I’m notorious for filing my taxes late, or rather I always ask for an extension. I think I just have a mental block when it comes to gathering all the info I have to gather for our tax guy. I don’t trust myself doing our taxes because I would be that person that makes one simple mistake and BAM! taxes late because the IRS could not process our tax forms.
- Tax return is illegible – True if you e-File that won’t be a problem (in fact a lot of these won’t be an issue if you file electronically), but if the IRS can’t read things like your name or address, they can’t process your return. Not good.
- Choosing incorrect filing status – Your filing status determines things your requirements and deductions so if you choose incorrectly your whole application will be incorrect.
- Failure to correctly list all dependents – All dependents, including their taxpayer identification number and/or social security numbers, must be included in your filing. Double check before you send off.
- Entering income on the wrong line – Entering your income in the wrong box will likely be a red flag to the IRS.
- Failure to include all W-2 forms – If you have more than one job you must include a W-2 for each one.
- Arranging tax documents in incorrect order – Take the time to put your corresponding documents in the right order. If not it could delay your refund.
- Sending your return to the wrong IRS office – Different types of documents, and docs from different regions, got to different IRS offices, and if you send yours to the wrong place, and a lot of people do, your refund will be delayed.
- Using inadequate postage – If you put the wrong postage on your return it will be sent back and you’ll risk missing the April 18th deadline.
- Failure to make a copy of a signed return – Certain types of loans will ask you for copies of your tax returns and if you’re missing one you’ll have to pay the IRS $50 to get a copy.
- Failing to sign and date return – It’s the simplest thing but still a huge mistake people make that’s an unsigned form cannot be accepted by the IRS so make sure to sign and date it, and if you file jointly, make sure your spouse does as well.
These all seem so basic but how often have you kicked yourself for overlooking a simple ingredient in some recipe you’ve done a bazillion times? It happens. So just pause, do a double and triple check before you send off your tax forms. And then the waiting begins…