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IRS Tax Topic 303

Common Errors to Avoid when Filing your Tax Return

IRS Tax Topic 303 is a guide for avoiding common mistakes when filing your tax return. We have updated for Tax Season 2016.

The IRS recommends reviewing your entire tax return to be sure it is accurate and complete. Even a simple mistake can cause problems with your tax return, which might lead to delays in processing your return and receiving your refund.

Want to avoid frequent trouble spots? Check these areas, which can reduce problems:

  • Use the peel-off label. You may line through and make necessary corrections right on the label.
  • Be sure to fill in your social security number in the box provided on the return. It is not on the label. If you do not have a peel-off label, fill in all requested information clearly, including the social security numbers.
  • Check only one filing status on the tax return and check the appropriate exemption boxes.
  • Enter the correct social security numbers for each of those exemptions.
  • Use the correct Tax Table column for your filing status.
  • Double check all figures on the return. Math errors are a common mistake.
  • Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. Attach all Forms W-2 and any Forms 1099 that reflect tax withheld. Attach all other necessary forms and schedules, in the order of the “Attachment Sequence No.” in the upper right corner of each form.
  • Do you owe tax? If so, enclose a check or money order made payable to the “United States Treasury” with the return. You may choose to pay by credit card by contacting one of the two credit card service providers. If you file electronically, you may authorize the U.S. Treasury to withdraw the payment directly from your bank account.

You can avoid headaches at tax time by keeping track of your receipts and other records throughout the year. Good record keeping will help you remember the various transactions you made during the year, which may help you out on your taxes.

Records help you document the deductions you’ve claimed on your return. You’ll need this documentation should the IRS select your return for examination. Normally tax records should be kept for three years, but some documents reflecting home purchase or sales or stock transactions should be kept longer.

While the IRS does not require you to keep records in any special manner, you should keep any and all documents that may have an impact on your federal tax return. Such items would include bills, receipts, invoices, mileage logs, canceled checks, or any other proof of payment, and any other records to support any deductions or credits you claim on your return.

Good recordkeeping throughout the year saves you time and effort at tax time when organizing and completing your return. If you hire a paid professional to complete your return, the records you have kept will assist the tax preparer in quickly and accurately completing your return.

IRS Tax Topic 303 Source: IRS.gov

IRS Topic 303 2014

IRS Topic 303 2016

IRS Tax Topic 303