While we all make mistakes, keep in mind that mistakes in filing your taxes can be complicated and costly to resolve. You have to be extra-careful in filling in the blanks; declaring your income, expenses, and exemptions; and meeting deadlines since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be a pain in the neck, even in the face of honest mistakes.
Here are a few of the most common errors in filing your taxes that you must be aware of. This is true even when you hire the professional services of Jackson Hewitt, a firm that offers tax filing services, since you will be ultimately held responsible, accountable, and liable by the IRS for mistakes on your tax returns.
Not Signing and Dating the Forms
When you forget to sign your tax return, you are in effect failing to file it within the set deadline, as is true when you fail to date it. Think of an unsigned tax return as an unsigned check because both are not valid and, thus, cannot be accepted as official documents.
This is also true for a joint return in case either one of you or your spouse fails to sign it. You have to file a joint return, too, when under the law, you are still married despite your living arrangements (i.e., separated).
Not Matching Returns
With so many tax forms to consider, you will understandably be confused about which form comes with another form. While your tax consultant will take care of these matters, you have to be aware of them, too, since it’s your responsibility as a taxpayer.
You should be careful about mismatching Forms 1099 and your tax return since it usually comes with penalties, surcharges and interests, not to mention the risk of a more comprehensive audit. Forms 1099 comes in several varieties including Forms 1099-INT and 1099-DIVfor interests and dividends as well as Form 1099-MISC, the granddaddy of all Form 1099 forms. Your failure to include the appropriate Form 1099 with your tax return may initially appear as a small oversight but the IRS notice will immediately dismiss such a notion.
Not Using the PIN
When you file your return electronically, you should sign it with your PIN. If you know your previous year’s e-file PIN, you may use it.
The bottom line: You have to be very careful with the information filed on your tax return because it is filed under penalties of perjury. Even simple reporting issues can result in complicated lawsuits, thus, reinforcing the need for hiring an experienced tax consultant.