With tax season upon us, MSNBC.com recently posted an article highlighting common income tax errors you’ll want to avoid. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Claiming the Wrong Filing Status. You might think it’s simple to know whether you’re married or single, but for people who are newly married or in the process of a divorce, choosing a filing status can be tricky. And even if you’re married, do you file jointly or separately? Your choice can have significant consequences. A good rule of thumb is to remember that your filing status should reflect your actual status on December 31st of the tax year in question. And if you’re not sure, you’ll want to check with your tax advisor.
- Forgetting to Sign and Date Your Form. It can be a simple oversight, but when you send in your tax return without a signature, the IRS treats the return as unfiled.
- Failing to Report All Income. You’re required to report all your income, from every source. This means waiting to file until you’ve received each and every W-2 and 1099. It also means that if you don’t receive one of these forms, you should still report the income.
- Not Filing the Right Form. You’ll want to check the instructions to ensure that you’re submitting the appropriate form, along with all the necessary schedules and documentation.
- Math Errors. Math errors are becoming less prevalent as e-filing becomes more popular, but they still happen. You’ll want to double-check your return before you file it.
By the way, this year you’ll have a few extra days to double-check your return before you submit it: because of a legal holiday in Washington, D.C., the filing deadline has been extended to April 18.
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