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Common Tax Filing Errors & How to Avoid Them


Common Tax Filing Errors & How to Avoid Them

Common Tax Filing Errors & How to Avoid Them

It’s that time of year again! Completing your taxes every spring is “taxing” enough, but what happens when you receive a notice from the IRS in your mailbox several weeks later, telling you that you made an error somewhere in the process? First, take a breath— a mistake won’t result in an audit or the IRS showing up at your door, but it can delay your refund if you’re expecting to receive one. Before you start compiling your write-offs and other needed documents to get started this spring, keep these common tax filing mistakes in mind so that you can correctly file your taxes and receive your refund (if eligible) as quickly as possible.

Math Errors

One of the most obvious and common errors you can make when filing your taxes is a simple math mistake. Make sure that you use the exact numbers that appear on your W-2, 1099, or other tax forms, as rounding up or down could result in a letter in the mail. Remember to always double (or even triple) check your math before filing, as well as ensure that you haven’t accidentally switched any numbers around when entering your social security number, total income, etc.

Incorrect Bank Account Information

If you prefer to receive your refund via direct deposit, it’s crucial that you enter your bank account information and routing number correctly, as even being off by one number could result in you losing your refund altogether. As a reminder, the routing number is the first set of numbers on your check, and your account number is the second set of numbers. If the number you incorrectly enter does not lead to a bank or another person’s account, your refund will be sent back to the IRS. However, if you accidentally enter banking information that does belong to another person’s account, you will have to rely on their honesty to get it back, as the IRS will not issue you another refund in the event that this happens.

Valley’s Routing Number: 292976861

Filing on Paper

Did you know that if you file your taxes by hand on paper, you are 20 times more likely to make an error than if you file electronically? While filing on paper leaves more room for human error, filing electronically walks you through the entire process, prompts you in order to determine which deductions and tax credits you qualify for, and even checks your math for you! 

Insufficient Tax Knowledge

Whether it’s determining if you should file separately or jointly with your spouse, not itemizing your deductions correctly, or forgetting to include all of your write-offs, not taking the time to properly complete your forms when filing can result in a lower refund, or even result in owing the IRS more than you should. If you have any doubts, a tax professional can answer any questions you have, and can help ensure that you file correctly.

Filing taxes isn’t an enjoyable task, but it doesn’t have to be daunting either. By taking a bit of extra time and few precautions before filing, you can avoid the most common tax mistakes and, once everything is said and done, look forward to receiving your refund. And, while this refund is actually money that you earned last year, rather than a bonus, it’s still important to use it wisely. Not sure what the best option is? Check out our past blog post for 10 ideas to get you started!

Valley Credit Union is not a tax professional; we recommend you reach out to a tax advisor with any questions.

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