Filing Taxes 101: Common Errors Taxpayers Should Avoid

Filing a tax return electronically reduces errors.

Using a reputable enrolled agent can also help avoid errors. Mistakes can result in a processing delay, which can mean it takes more time to get a refund.

Here are some common errors to avoid:

  • Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers. Each SSN should appear exactly as printed on the Social Security card.
  • Misspelled names. A name listed on a tax return should match the name on that person’s Social Security card.
  • Incorrect filing status. Some taxpayers choose the wrong filing status.
  • Math mistakes. Math errors are one of the most common mistakes.
  • Figuring credits or deductions. Taxpayers can make mistakes figuring things like their earned income tax credit, child and dependent care credit, and the standard deduction.
  • Incorrect bank account numbers. Taxpayers due a refund should choose direct deposit. Taxpayers need to make sure they use the correct routing and account numbers.
  • Unsigned forms. An unsigned tax return isn’t valid…period.
  • Filing with an expired individual tax identification number. If a taxpayer’s ITIN is expired, they should go ahead and file using the expired number. The IRS will process that return and treat it as a return filed on time. However, the IRS won’t allow any exemptions or credits to a return filed with an expired ITIN.