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By Transamerica / Feb 27, 2015

6 Tax Filing Tips: Things To Avoid in 2015


So your taxes are finished and ready to be mailed off. But wait, are you sure all is in order, added up, accounted for and signed? Did you double check to make sure your taxes are properly done? Remember, any mistake that might lie within your taxes can potentially result in a higher tax bill or a smaller refund, neither of which you want for your previous year’s work.

Below are six of the most common tax filing mistakes. Be certain not to do the same to avoid receiving your refund late, or worse yet, not receiving a refund at all.

1. Bad math: A very common mistake one can make with their taxes involves arithmetic. Incorrect addition and subtraction or a mistake when transferring figures will bring up an immediate red flag, and in some cases, lead to an audit.

In some situations like this, the IRS will correct the error and recalculate your taxes. Your best bet is to use a tax calculator or tax software program to assist you with adding, subtracting and the insertion of figures into your tax forms. However, keep in mind that your initial numbers have to be spot on. The calculator will not help you if your figures are wrong to begin with.

2. Incorrect Social Security number: With PIN numbers, password codes and other numeric figures floating around our brains, Social Security numbers can be difficult to remember. But for your taxes, you need to accurately input your Social Security number to receive a timely and correct return. Sure, you may not use your Social Security number that often, nor have a need to remember it right off the bat, but with tax season occurring once a year, you should have your correct Social Security ID on hand.

Even if you no longer have your Social Security card, do yourself a favor and write down your Social Security number on a piece of paper, then put it in a safe place inside your desk.

3. Spelling errors: Another mistake to avoid when filing your taxes is misspelling your name. This may seem a bit amateurish, but it does happen and can result in a slow down or complete kick back of your taxes.

Those most susceptible to a name discrepancy are new spouses who have changed their last names or recent divorcees who’ve dropped their married name. Of course, those with last names that have complicated spellings are also in danger of having their identity misspelled.

Double check your tax identification number that the Social Security Administration has on record. And if you’ve recently been married and seek to use your spouse’s last name, or have changed your name back, update this with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible.

4. Bank issues: The IRS recommends you receive your tax refund through direct deposit because they are safe and reliable. However, if you’ve put the wrong bank account numbers or an incorrect bank on your taxes, you could be in trouble. If you have multiple bank accounts, decide in advance which account you want your return to be deposited in.

5. Missed information: If you have worked multiple jobs in one year, make certain by no later than mid-February that you have collected each business’s 1099 form. You will need these to account for your income. If for some reason you have not received a 1099 from one of your employers, contact them immediately.

6. Forgotten signatures: All right, you’ve gone through all that hard work of gathering up your work records, adding and subtracting numbers, and filling out your tax records. With all that done, it would be shameful if the only issue that stood between you and your tax return were your signature.

Make sure all your paperwork is signed. Also double check for any place on your tax filing where your initials also need to appear.

By nature of the detail involved, taxes can be complicated. And while mistakes do happen, if there’s a mistake with your tax filings, the penalties can be harsh. To help yourself get back the tax refund you deserve, confirm that your math adds up, your identification numbers are accurate and that everything is signed and initialized.