Top Ten Tax Preparer Errors

The IRS has posted the latest list of errors encountered on tax returns prepared by paid tax preparers. As of the end of July, 2001, here are the top ten errors encountered by the IRS on returns they have received:

  1. For married filing joint returns, the spouse's Social Security number was either missing or incorrect.
  2. For tax returns where one or more dependency exemptions have been claimed, the dependent's Social Security number is either missing or incorrect.
  3. For tax returns where the Child Tax Credit is being claimed, the dependent's Social Security number is either missing or incorrect.
  4. The primary taxpayer's Social Security number was either missing or incorrect.
  5. An attempt was made to claim the Child Tax Credit when the qualifying child was older than the maximum age allowable for the credit.
  6. The last name of a dependent was incorrect.
  7. The Earned Income Credit was calculated or entered incorrectly.
  8. The spouse's Social Security number was illegible.
  9. The Social Security number of a child qualifying the taxpayer for the Earned Income Credit was incorrect.
  10. The taxable amount of Social Security benefits was miscalculated.

For tax returns where the Social Security number of a spouse or dependent is missing or incorrect, the IRS treats the return as if there is no spouse or dependent, denying exemptions and related credits. For tax returns where there is a miscalculation, the IRS corrects the calculation.

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