Errors on tax returns are more common than you might think. But don’t worry, these mistakes, while potentially costly in terms of missed deductions or unnecessary penalties, can be rectified. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to correct errors on your tax returns and maximize your refund.
Review Your Forms Thoroughly
Before you submit your return, it’s crucial to thoroughly review all the information you’ve entered on each form. Ensure that all numbers are accurate and correspond with the relevant documents, such as your W-2 forms. Be vigilant for typos or misspellings in names, addresses, and other personal details.
Address Common Errors
Taxpayers often make certain common mistakes, including mathematical errors, incorrect filing status selection, and incorrect social security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers for dependents or spouses/partners. If you discover any such errors after submitting your tax return, it’s important to file a Form 1040-X as soon as possible to correct these errors.
Consult a Tax Professional
If you’re uncertain about how to complete a certain part of the form or need advice on available deductions or credits, consider seeking help from a certified tax professional. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or an Enrolled Agent (EA) can assist with reviewing prior years’ returns and amending them if necessary.
Keep Your Records Organized and Updated
Maintain a dedicated folder for tax-related documents, such as receipts, canceled checks, W-2s, and 1099s. Keeping your records organized and up-to-date will make it easier to prepare for future tax obligations, saving you both time and money.
By following these steps, you’ll be better equipped with the knowledge needed to maximize potential refunds and avoid unwanted consequences from incorrectly filled out submissions.
What are some common mistakes made on tax returns?
Some common mistakes include incorrect or missing information, mathematical errors, failing to report all income sources, claiming ineligible deductions or credits, and not signing the return.
How can I fix an error on my tax return after it has been filed?
If you realize there is an error on your tax return after it has already been filed with the IRS, you can file an amended tax return using Form 1040-X. This form allows you to correct any errors made on your original filing.
How long does it take for the IRS to process an amended tax return?
It typically takes up to 16 weeks for the IRS to process an amended tax return from the date they receive it. However, during peak filing season and due to staffing issues caused by Covid-19 restrictions, processing times may be longer than usual this year.