Online usable forms and computer software help you do your taxes and take a lot of the worry out of filing your own taxes, but some common mistakes can still cause your tax return to be kicked back to you. Errors on your tax form could also keep you from getting a refund or even trigger an audit. If your tax return is rejected, you must correct the errors and resubmit your return. Fortunately, most errors are common and easy to find and correct.
All of your personal information must be correct and must match the information the IRS has on file for you. Double-check your Social Security number and date of birth, and the Social Security numbers and dates of birth for your spouse and any dependents. The IRS computers match the information you provide with the information in the Social Security database. If you determine that you’ve filled out the forms correctly but the information in the database is wrong, contact the Social Security Administration to have its database corrected.
You can’t claim a dependent that’s been claimed on someone else's tax return. For instance, you and your ex-spouse can’t both claim your child as a dependent. Also, if you are claimed as a dependent, you can’t claim an exemption for yourself on your tax return. If you’re a non-custodial parent and you and your ex have agreed that you will claim the child on your tax return this year, you need to attach Form 8332 signed by your ex. This gives you the authority to claim the child on your taxes.
You must supply your bank information if you’re due a tax refund and request a direct deposit into your bank account. The IRS system will reject your tax filing if you don’t have the correct routing and/or bank account number listed.
Other Numerical Errors
The number of dependents you take must equal the number you list by name and Social Security number. Additionally, when you file using the IRS’ free fillable forms, you must write in the amount of your adjusted gross income for the previous tax year. This figure must match the figure that was on your last year’s tax return, so you’ll need to pull those forms and record the numbers accurately.
All the information on the W-2s you submit with your tax returns must be accurate, from the employer’s tax ID number to the abbreviation for your state. Double-check the form and your tax return to verify that you've entered all of this information correctly.
You and your spouse must both sign the form. All names for you, your spouse and your children must be spelled correctly and must match the names on file with the Social Security Administration.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.