There are countless variations in how Americans approach their tax return every year. From nervous energy and annoyance to relief and joy, the range of emotions can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, numerous people rush through the tax return paperwork to simply get it over with. This can lead to mistakes and, ultimately, an IRS tax audit.
While every situation is unique, there are some common mistakes that can lead to serious trouble. In some instances, the error could trigger an audit. Here are four errors that filers must avoid at every turn:
- Personal information typos: Many people choose to file their taxes online and prepare them using computer software. Unfortunately, typos on personal information can disrupt the entire return. From names and addresses that don’t match a W-2 to Social Security Numbers or bank account information that does not match, people must enter personal information correctly.
- Math errors: Whether it is an entry error or a rounding mistake, problems with the actual numbers on the tax return can trigger a red flag. It is crucial that individuals check their math and data entry at every stage of the process.
- Document errors: Whether filing on paper or using computer software, individuals must follow the instructions. Failing to complete the required schedules or failing to attach required documentation can often lead to an IRS audit.
- Physical preparation errors: While many people use guided computer software for their tax returns, many others continue to use the paper filing method. This method of filing means that individuals must include the correct paperwork, ensure the documents are in the right order and attach them in the correct spot. Additionally, the filer must mail the information to the correct IRS office.
While not all these mistakes will lead to an audit, they can all represent red flags to the IRS. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a worker to review a tax return to clarify one mistake and then simply start looking for other errors. It is wise to avoid this potential problem by taking the time necessary to fill out the tax return paperwork thoroughly and completely. If you receive notification of an audit, it is wise to discuss your unique case with a legal professional.