Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

With the tax filing deadline close at hand, here are the top 10 tips for last minute taxpayers still working on their tax return. Sometimes the most frustrating part of preparing your tax return is dealing with unsuccessful attempts to e-file. E-filing your return instead of mailing definitely has some benefits, especially receiving your refund much faster. The Internal Revenue Service can reject your e-filing for a wide range of reasons, which means you’ll need to figure out what went wrong and try again. However, if you implement some basic tips, you may be able to avoid unnecessary e-file rejections.

 

Top 10 Tips for Last Minute Tax Filers

efile Tax Tips

  1. E-file your return. Consider filing electronically instead of using paper tax forms. Choosing to e-file is the best way to ensure your return is accurate and complete.
  2. Review tax ID numbers. Remember to carefully check all identification numbers on your return. Incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
  3. Double-check your figures. Whether you are filing electronically or by paper, review all the amounts you transferred over from your W-2 or 1099.
  4. Review your math. Taxpayers filing paper returns should also double-check that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table.
  5. Sign and date your return. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.
  6. Choose Direct Deposit. To get your refund quicker, select Direct Deposit and the IRS will deposit your refund directly into your bank account.
  7. How to make a payment. People sending a payment should make the check out to “United States Treasury” and should enclose it with, but not attach it to the tax return or the Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Write your name, address, SSN, telephone number, tax year and form number on the check or money order.
  8. File an extension. Taxpayers who will not be able to file a return by the April deadline should request an extension of time to file. Remember, the extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay.
  9. Visit the IRS Web site. IRS.gov has forms, publications and helpful information on a variety of tax subjects, which is available around the clock on the IRS.gov.
  10. Review your return….one more time. Before you seal the envelope or hit send, go over all the information on return again. Errors may delay the processing of your return, so it’s best for you to make sure everything on your return is correct.

 

Common eFile Errors Lead to Rejections

One of the easier e-file rejections to fix is the names reported on your tax forms. When you e-file, the IRS will check to ensure that your name matches the Social Security number (SSN) reported on the form. Another frequent mismatch occurs when there is a name change due to marriage or divorce. If you change your last name, you need to notify the Social Security Administration to get your SSN reassigned to your new name, or risk your e-file being rejected. When you take exemptions for your dependents, your tax form requires their full names, SSNs and the relationship you have with each of them. The IRS e-file system will verify that each dependent’s name matches the corresponding SSN by comparing the information to IRS master files. If it doesn’t match, the IRS will reject your e-filing.

Further, certain tax return filing statuses require additional information on the return other than just marking the appropriate status box. If filing as head of household, for example, one of the eligibility requirements is that you claim at least one dependent on your return. Thus, if you forget to list your dependent or report your dependent’s name or SSN incorrectly, the e-filing system will catch this error and reject your e-file submission

 

Additional IRS Links on eFile:

Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request
Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher
Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return