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Avoid these 8 common mistakes when filling out tax forms

When you are filling out federal and state income tax forms, most likely your primary concern is to avoid an audit. While this is a legitimate concern, as are the myriad complexities of the IRS Tax Code, major errors of that nature are not the most common among filers.

More often, it is the simple errors that cause the most problems for taxpayers. This can be anything from transposed numbers and misspellings to errors in calculations.

The following list contains 8 common tax time mistakes, compiled by the Illinois CPA Society:

  1. Math errors - Even if you calculate every item correctly, there could be mistakes in the initial figures that throw off your totals.
  2. Misspelled or changed names - If a name is misspelled or not correctly listed, it can create delays with processing your returns.
  3. Incorrect Social Security numbers - An incorrect or omitted Social Security number for taxpayers and dependents can create problems, as these numbers serve as an individual's tax ID. 
  4. Incorrect direct deposit information - The convenience of having tax refunds directly deposited into one or multiple bank accounts is negated if the account numbers are listed incorrectly.
  5. Changes in your filing status - If your marital status or household situation changes, this needs to be reflected in your official filing status.
  6. Tax-deductible charitable contributions - Make sure the value of each individual donation as well as the total calculation for charitable contributions is correct.
  7. Signing and dating the return - A tax return cannot be filed until it is properly signed and dated by the taxpayer.
  8. Late return submissions - Unless you have requested an extension, make sure all tax returns are filed by midnight on the deadline. In 2017, the due date is Tuesday, April 18.

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