negative numbers on tax return

Common Tax Return Errors to Avoid This Year

Tax Law

I never make the same mistake twice,I make it five or six times, just to be sure.
– Anonymous

That quote hits all too close to home, doesn’t it? We have all made mistakes in life. Sometimes the consequences are nominal, but sometimes the consequences can be grave. When it comes to doing your taxes, you may have found out the hard way that mistakes when doing your taxes can be grave indeed.

At our law office, we have a lot of clients visit us because they made a mistake on their taxes, and rather than catching it and fixing the issue right away, they sometimes – knowingly or unknowingly – make the same mistake five or six more times.  

It can be a dilemma, particularly when you have income from several sources, to keep track of everything. So, if there comes a time when the Internal Revenue Service “comes a-knocking,” you need to have an experienced IRS attorney in Florida to be in your corner and help you get out of the IRS’s crosshairs.  

In this article, we are going to go through a solid list of things to remember when preparing your tax return. With this handy checklist in hand, it may be possible for you to avoid some of the less-than-pleasant consequences that may result from making tax return mistakes.  

Of course, if you have additional questions about tax issues, or if you are getting correspondence from the IRS with regard to taxes that you owe from prior years, we welcome you to call the IRS attorney in Florida who is ready to help you – Mary King.  

The Law Office of Mary King, P.L. provides complete IRS problem-solving services including all areas from tax debt settlement to planning the most efficient tax strategy for individuals and businesses. Call today at 941-906-7585, or fill out our contact form.  

The Common Tax Return Mistakes To Avoid

Any mistake with a tax return can result in a delay in the processing of your return. So, even if you have someone else prepare your tax return be sure to check for errors. This checklist may be of some help.

1. E-File.  In addition to the ease of filing your tax return online – no stamps – there is another feature that is very helpful with e-filing.  That feature is a preliminary review process. When you file electronically, the e-file system is able to scan and detect the return for common errors. It will then quickly send back your return to correct errors before it is reviewed by the IRS. The end result is that you may be able to save yourself from processing delays by fixing any errors right away. 

2. Clear Info. You would be surprised how many tax returns suffer from names, taxpayer identification numbers, address, and other information are not printed clearly. It may seem minor, but hard-to-read information on the return can lead to delays in processing.

3. One Status Only Please. You need to choose only one type of filing status, single, married, etc. You will create issues if you check off more than one filing status.

4. Names.  Be sure to enter the names and taxpayer identification numbers properly for everyone listed on your return. Remember, the names and numbers need to appear exactly as they appear on each person’s social security card. If there have been any name changes, you need to have your attorney call the Social Security Administration, or call yourself.

5. Brackets.  When you are entering negative numbers on your tax return, do not forget to surround those numbers with brackets or paretheses. You want another person looking at your tax return to be able to add up (and subtract) the income numbers properly. 

6. Standard Deduction Categories.  Did you select the correct standard deduction, if you are taking a standard deduction? Note that the standard deduction is a little higher, to the tune of $1,300, for those who are over 65 or blind. It is $1,650 higher than that if you are also unmarried and not a surviving spouse.

7. The W-2.  Do you have a W-2 from each of your employers, and did you make sure that you attached Copy B of each form to your federal tax return? You can combine the wage and withholding amounts for all the jobs you have had when putting the income numbers in the appropriate boxes.  

8. IP PIN.  If you received an Identity Protection PIN from the IRS, then use that six-digit IP PIN when prompted by your tax preparation product or give it to the person preparing your taxes.  Your e-filed return will be rejected if you provide an incorrect or missing IP PIN. Also, make sure that you keep that PIN secret. The IRS will never ask you for your IP PIN, so do not give it to anyone by phone, email, or text. Those likely could be scams if someone asks you for an IP PIN.

9. 1099-R.  This form shows federal tax withholding for many retirement-type accounts. You need to be sure to attach this form to your tax return if you received one.

10. Finishing Up.  Make sure that all the essentials are taken care of if you are snail-mailing the return – use the correct mailing address that is printed in the tax return instructions, use the correct postage on the envelope. If you owe, be sure to enclose a check or money order made out to the “United States Treasury,” and have your name, address, and taxpayer ID on the payment. If you are due a refund and want it directly deposited, double-check your routing and account numbers.

We could chuckle at the quote above, but don’t fall into its trap. Avoid making mistakes once, twice, five, or six times. And the above checklist will help. 

Yet, if you do get into a bind with the IRS, then you need an IRS attorney in Florida to help you.  

Get the Help You Need by Contacting an IRS Attorney in Florida 

The Law Office of Mary King P.L., a seasoned IRS attorney in Florida, offers complete IRS problem solving services including all areas from tax implications of alimony to planning the most efficient tax strategy for individuals and businesses.  Call our tax attorneys in Florida today to schedule an initial consultation. With years of experience, the Law Office of Mary E. King can make sure that your tax issues are resolved in your favor. Fill out our online contact form, or call us at 941-906-7585.

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