IRS Tax Tips
March 28, 2008 – TT-2008-63
Avoid Common Errors
The IRS recommends reviewing your entire tax return to be sure it is accurate and complete. Even a simple mistake can cause problems which might lead to delays in processing your return and receiving your refund.
Here are some ways to avoid common tax return errors:
- File electronically. If you choose to e-file, many common errors are avoided or corrected by the computer software. If your income is under $54,000 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 your 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 you have entered on the return for a direct deposit of your 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.
- 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, at IRS.gov, or call our TeleTax number, 800-829-4477. For more information about IRS e-file and Free File visit the IRS Web site at IRS.gov.