E-filing can be quicker and easier than paper filing, but that doesn’t mean you should breeze through it without checking for errors. While e-filing can catch some errors, it’s still important to review your return before your submit it. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a pen or your keyboard when you prepare your taxes; the tiniest slip-ups can mean paying more than you need to or getting a smaller refund than you should. That’s why you should keep an eye out for these common mistakes.
- Name, Age and SSN
There are several places on your tax return where a tiny typo can be a big deal. That especially goes for filling out names, ages and social security numbers. A mistake in those sections can slow down tax return processing for the IRS. If you do mess up while typing and submit your return, there’s still time to amend your error. Check out the IRS.gov page for instructions on amending e-filed tax returns.
If your addition and subtraction are a little rusty, The built-in calculator with many tax software can help with most math. However, it’s important to double check amounts you initially enter into the program. After all, the computer won’t know you made a mistake if you enter $1800 instead of $8100. Switching those two numbers throws off all the calculations that follow. Be careful entering those first numbers to avoid having to redo the return.
Even if you initially enter numbers correctly, you should still review final results when it comes to figuring out taxable income, withholding and estimated tax payments, and earned income credit. The IRS says other common mistakes include figures for standard deduction for age 65 or over, the taxable amount for social security benefits and child and dependent care. It says missing or incorrect numbers for child care is another frequent slip-up.
Of course, working with a professional tax preparer is the best way to make sure your returns are mistake free. See how a professional planning service can help you.