IRS Reveals Most Common Errors

The Internal Revenue Service urged tax preparers and taxpayers to review their tax returns for common errors that could delay the processing of returns and refunds.

Here are some ways to avoid common tax return errors:

  • File electronically. If you choose to e-file, many of the common errors are avoided or corrected by the computer software. If income is under $52,000, you may be able to e-file for free using IRS Free File.

  • Use the peel-off label if you choose to mail a paper return. You may line through and make necessary corrections right on the label. Be sure to fill in Social Security number in the box provided on the return. If you do not have a peel-off label, fill in all requested information clearly, including the Social Security numbers.

  • Check only one filing status on the tax return and check the appropriate exemption boxes. Enter the correct Social Security numbers for each of those exemptions.

  • Use the correct Tax Table column for your filing status.

  • Double check all figures on the return. Math errors are common mistakes.

  • Make sure that the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return for a direct deposit of the refund are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause the refund to be delayed or misdirected.

  • Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return.

  • Attach all Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and other forms that reflect tax withheld to the front of the return. Attach all other necessary forms and schedules.

  • Remember to request the Telephone Excise Tax Refund. Most households are eligible for a special, one-time only Telephone Tax Refund, typically between $30-$60, that you can request on the 2006 tax return.

  • Do you owe tax? If so, enclose a check or money order made payable to the “United States Treasury” and Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Or, you may choose to pay by credit card by contacting one of the credit card service providers.

    For a complete checklist and a listing of some of the most common errors, see Tax Topic 303, Checklist of Common Errors When Preparing Your Tax Return, on the IRS Web site at IRS.gov or call our TeleTax number, 800-829-4477. For more information about e-file, Free File and the Telephone Excise Tax Refund, visit IRS.gov.

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