11 Common Tax Filing Mistakes

The late John Wooden once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen”. While a college basketball coach (who happens to rank first in NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four appearances) may seem irrelevant to filing taxes, the truth is that paying meticulous attention to detail is absolutely critical when it comes to your tax return. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finds errors in tax-filings quite often, particularly on tax returns for those who file on paper. In fact, the IRS estimates that taxpayers who file on paper are 20 times more likely to make an error than those filing electronically. As a result, they recommend that all taxpayers use IRS e-file to file their tax return.

From delaying tax refunds to monetary negligence penalties, being extremely mindful of potential errors while filing your tax return is imperative this year. With only one month left before Tax Day (which falls on Tuesday, April 17th this year), be sure to avoid these 11 common tax filing mistakes:

  1. Spelling errors on names
  2. Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers
  3. Forms not signed
  4. Forms not dated
  5. Math errors
  6. Wrong bank account numbers
  7. Errors in tax credits or deductions figures
  8. Wrong filing status
  9. PIN errors for electronic filing
  10. Filing using an expired ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number)
  11. Health care reporting errors

Avoiding the above most common tax filing mistakes is incredibly important. So, how do you and your accountant ensure that you successfully file without any errors? First and foremost, planning ahead lays the foundation for correct information being filed. In addition, it is vital to take your time, read instructions carefully, remain organized, and double-check on things like signatures, math, and correct attached schedules and forms.  Even the savviest of taxpayers can fall into the trap of making costly mistakes. For instance, those taxpayers who had a side job must report additional income. Neglecting to include any additional earnings in your returns can result in financial penalties as well as interest on those unreported earnings.

At Neal, Ellrich, Smith & Stohlman, P.A., tax services include the preparation of federal and state income tax returns for all business, not-for-profit organizations, and personal entities including individuals, estates, trusts, partnerships and corporations as well as business and individual tax planning and consulting. Our tax planning service goes far beyond filing a tax return. We assist new businesses with basic ownership options and tax consequences and guide growing businesses through year-end planning and projections. We offer a broad range of consulting services that include evaluating material transactions, mergers and acquisitions, international taxation strategies, and estate and trust planning. Contact our tax team today to discuss your options for this year’s tax filing.