It’s tax time. And as you work with your advisor or tax preparer to maximize your refund, or at least minimize what you owe, keep in mind that one of the most important things taxpayers can do to limit errors is to double check the information they input into software or a printed form.
It may seem like common sense, but going back over the information you enter may be the most important part of your tax filing duties. It’s easy to put a figure on the wrong line – in fact, one of the most common errors is not putting in the right Social Security numbers for you, your spouse and your dependents. An error like that can cause a significant delay in the processing of your return or, even worse, could trigger an audit.
So make an effort to recheck what you’ve entered before moving to the next line or screen. While you’re going back over your return for wrong entries and typos, take the time to look up numbers such as cost basis for investments sold and real estate tax paid, rather than estimating. And double check your math, too, because simple miscalculations can commonly lead to errors as well.
Here are a few other tax filing tips:
Be aware that the IRS never contacts taxpayers by email. If you receive an email appearing to come from the IRS about your returns, beware. It is likely a phishing attempt to get you to share sensitive information about yourself. If you receive an email like this, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s always wise to seek the help of a professional. If you don’t already have a tax advisor, consider working with one this year to see if together you can uncover new ways to turn your tax return in your favor.
Withdrawals from tax-deferred accounts may be subject to income taxes, and prior to age 59½ a 10% federal penalty tax may apply. Raymond James does not offer tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for questions regarding your tax situation.