Taxpayers who filed for an extension to file of their taxes have until October 15 to submit their tax return. Please remember that an extension to file is NOT an extension to pay your tax liability! Penalty and interest will still be imposed on the tax balance due even though an extension to file has been submitted.
Taxpayers need to make sure they file accurate tax returns. If a taxpayer makes an error on the tax return, it will likely take longer to process the return and the refund could be delayed.
Some common errors for taxpayers that can be avoided are listed below:
Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers: please sure to enter each SSN on the tax return exactly as printed on the Social Security card.
Misspelled names: please double check all names listed on a tax return to make sure they are spelled exactly as listed on the Social Security cards.
Filing status: please make sure you double check your filing status before claiming Head of Household instead of Single, for example. You may use the Interactive Tax Assistant to help you choose the correct status.
Math mistakes: please always double check your math and makes sure it is correct. Better yet, tax preparation software does it automatically, therefore using a tax preparer in cases of more complicated returns it is beneficial.
Figuring credits or deductions: taxpayers can make mistakes figuring their credits, the standard deduction and other items. For example, a taxpayer who’s 65 or older, or blind, should claim the correct, higher standard deduction, if not itemizing. The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant can help determine if a taxpayer is eligible for tax credits or deductions.
Incorrect bank account numbers: if you are due a refund and choose direct deposit, please make sure you enter the correct bank account and routing numbers.
Unsigned forms: a tax return that has no signature is NOT valid! Both spouses must sign a joint return; an exception may apply for some members of the military. Taxpayers can avoid this error by filing their return electronically and digitally signing it before sending it to the IRS. Taxpayers who are using a tax software product for the first time will need their adjusted gross income from their 2016 tax return to file electronically. Taxpayers who are using the same tax software they used last year usually will not need to enter prior-year information to electronically sign their 2017 tax return.
Filing with an expired ITIN: some taxpayers that do not have SSN, are assigned an ITIN. The IRS will process and treat as timely a return filed with an expired Individual Tax Identification Number but won’t allow any exemptions or credits. Taxpayers will receive a notice explaining that an ITIN must be current before the IRS will pay a refund. Once the taxpayer renews the ITIN, the IRS will process exemptions and credits and pay an allowed refund. Please use this link for ITIN expiration and renewal information is available on IRS.gov.
As always, please remember that LR Tax & Accounting Services, Inc. is always a phone call away and here to help! If you are in doubt, I would suggest to use a tax professional then filing your tax return alone. We’ve seen too many cases when the tax return had to be amended due to an erroneous initial tax return filed by the taxpayer on his/her own. Please contact us for any tax and accounting help, we are more than happy to hear from you!
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