Mistakes happen. We do our best to avoid them, but we’re all human and things do slip through the cracks of our minds! At tax time, though, we want to be super human especially if we’re owed a refund from the IRS. So, whether you prepare your own taxes or have them prepared for you, you need to be diligent in going over your return carefully before sending them in.
Remember, if you’re owed a refund, even a careless mistake such as not dating your return can delay that refund check. And, if you owe the IRS money, you’ll need to send it in with your return. Any mistakes on your return could lead to more money being owed.
These are the most common mistakes people make, most of which are due to carelessness and can easily be avoided.
- Forgetting to sign the return. (Remember, your autograph is required!)
- Putting incorrect social security numbers (Make sure yours, your spouse’s, and children’s social security numbers are correct. It’s easy to transpose numbers.)
- Forgetting to date the return. (It must be dated on or before April 15th deadline.)
- Forgetting to put your address on the return
- Forgetting to include all income, not just the money you earn at your job, but any side jobs you may have, dividends and interest from stocks etc.
- Review your tax preparer’s work. They are human too. They can transpose numbers and make mistakes just like the rest of us.
- Missing the April 15th deadline and not requesting an extension.
All of the above are the most commonly made mistakes and the most easy to avoid if you simply take the time to go over your return. If you know you can’t make the April 15th deadline, request an extension before the deadline. You’ll then have until October 15th to submit your return.
Slow down and keep repeating your mantra. Review your returns slowly. Then you just have to trust that you’ve done your best and that’s all any of us can ever do!