Tax-filing is nobody's favorite task. What could be worse? Making a mistake that could cause a delay in processing your tax return.

Tax-filing is nobody’s favorite task. What could be worse? Making a mistake that could cause a delay in processing your tax return.

Firstly, check that you’re on track with your tax return timeline. Ensuring that you don’t miss any important tax deadlines in 2020 is half the battle won. 

Tax-filing can be overwhelming. As specialist tax accountant states: “To err is human. This is why many taxpayers make mistakes filling out complex tax forms”.  Anyone can make a mistake or overlook some of the essential information. Take the stress out of your tax-filing by being mindful of these common mistakes. 

Update Your Status

Check any changes in your tax status. Your tax status determines the category you fall into and will ultimately govern which tax return form you need to complete. Your tax filing status also regulates filing the deductions or credits you’re eligible to receive. 

Consideration should be given to any change in marital status. Have you changed your name? Double-check your identification number or social security number and also that of each person you have listed as a dependent.  

Have you changed your occupation? If you have, then be sure to update your income as you may now fall into a different ‘tax bracket’?  

Address It 

One of the most common mistakes on incorrectly filed tax returns includes errors in some of the basics. Have you moved to a new address? It’s essential to update your residential address information.  

You should also pay attention to where you’re sending your tax return off to. Check that you have the correct receiving tax office details. Some regions may deal with specific kinds of tax only. Be sure that you’re not causing delays by sending your return to the wrong address. 

It may sound like stating the obvious, but you should double or even triple-check that the postage on your tax return is adequate. If you don’t, the postal service will return the envelope to you. The result will be unnecessary delays. 

Crunch the Numbers 

Numbers are mostly what a tax return is all about. Double-check all the numbers in your tax documentation. Check for calculation or mathematical errors in additions and subtraction. Know the difference between deductions (for example, charitable donations) and tax credits, also known as tax incentives, that can reduce your tax liability. 

Other significant numbers to check are your bank account numbers. Incorrect account numbers will result in a delay in payouts of tax refunds owed to you. Check both the routing and the account numbers when submitting your return. 

Sign on the Dotted Line

Unsigned tax return forms and forms that are not dated are one of the common mistakes made. This, however, makes the form null and void, and it cannot be accepted. 

Remember, when filing jointly with a spouse, both you and your spouse should sign the forms. Another useful tip would be to make a copy of your annual signed tax return and supporting documentation for safekeeping. 

The Bottom Line

Paying careful attention when completing your tax return may seem obvious. Checking your details every time you file is a must. If you have made a mistake and need to adjust your tax return after filing it, an option would be to call on an expert. 

Even if you’ve done it many times before, it pays to be mindful and present when doing your tax return. Avoid rushing through the process, as this could lead to unwanted delays. 

The reward of receiving a timely refund will be well worth the time spent!