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Common Tax Preparation Mistakes

Filing taxes is not an easy task and even the most careful person can make mistakes. The Internal Revenue Service has created an easy to use check list of the most common errors encountered in tax returns.

According to experts you must fill in the tax return forms keeping sufficient time to check the tax return and make sure it is error free. Keep the checklist handy and go through it once before finalizing your tax returns this may help you avoid errors.

According to the IRS the most common errors made in tax returns are:

1. Incorrect or absent social security numbers.
2. Erroneous use of tax tables
3. Errors computing costs of child care and educational expenses.
4. Incorrect information pertaining to child care providers or dependants with no identification numbers or information like social security numbers.
5. Incorrect filling of forms with either missing information on tax payaments and allowed deductions or filling the information in the wrong places.
6. Calculation errors.
7. Missing information on interest earned and dividends.
8. Incorrect information on investment basis.
9. Forgetting to provide information on change in marital status.
10. Missing information on donations made to charity and subscriptions paid to memberships to professional bodies.

Use this check list to verify you have accurately filled your tax returns:

  • Any corrections must be made using the peel off label and the social security number must be entered in the space provided.
  • Ensure that in the absence of a label you clearly print your name, address, and social security number neatly on your return.
  • Check whether names and social security numbers of yourself, spouse, dependants, and qualifying children for earned income credit or child tax credit are accurate. Any changes call 1-800-772-1213 or log on to
  • Make sure you check the appropriate filing status.
  • Enter accurately the total number of dependants and check the appropriate exemption boxes and enter the details along with the correct social security numbers.
  • Enter the accurate income, deductions, and credits on the correct lines and forms and check and recheck the totals.
  • If you are showing a negative figure put brackets around it.
  • In case you are eligible for any standard deductions or tax waivers check the correct deductions making use of Form 1040 Instructions and Form 1040A Instructions.
  • File your tax returns in the appropriate column using the tax tables to calculate the tax amounts.
  • Sign and date the return correctly. If it is a joint return get your spouse to sign and date the tax return too.
  • Attach Form W-2 from all employees and be sure to attach copies B.
  • Attach Form 1099-R if any tax is withheld.
  • Attach all schedules and forms in sequence order as mentioned in the right hand corner.
  • If you owe any taxes enclose a money order or check with the tax return and ensure you have written your name, social security number, tax form number, and tax year on the reverse of the payment.

  • Before you submit the tax return make a copy of the signed return and all attachments for your record.

    About Author:

    Barry Allen is a freelance writer for Online Tax Firm, the premier website to find tax, return tax, tax software, free tax filing, sales tax, services tax,income tax, property tax and many more.

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