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Tax Return Errors Unveiled: 5 Common Mistakes and How to Evade Them


In 2023, over 162 million tax returns were submitted for the 2022 tax year, indicating a comparable volume likely for the current tax year, 2023.

Given the magnitude of returns to be handled, IRS staff members are adept at identifying errors, both significant and minor.

The IRS highlights several avoidable common mistakes made by taxpayers annually, along with strategies to mitigate these errors.

Five Common Tax Return Errors to Dodge

Avoid Filing Too Early

Anticipating a refund this year naturally leads to a desire for swift access to funds. However, filing taxes too hastily can lead to errors.

It’s important to avoid filing late, but submitting your return without all necessary documentation may cause processing delays.

To ensure accuracy, it’s best to review all required documents before estimating figures or filing prematurely.

Do Not Be Hesitant to Ask Questions

In 2023, over 162 million tax returns were submitted for the 2022 tax year, indicating a comparable volume likely for the current tax year, 2023.

Navigating taxes can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone.

Tax software offers helpful guidance for dealing with credits like Child and Dependent Care, Child Tax, Earned Income, and Recovery Rebate.

If you’re still confused, IRS representatives are available 24/7 at 1-800-829-1040.

You can also get tax forms and instructions by calling 1-800-829-3676 or visiting the IRS website.

Consider using a tax preparation service like AARP Foundation Tax-Aide if you’re unsure about handling your return.

They offer free assistance for individuals aged 50 and above or those with moderate incomes.

Do Not Rush

It is understandable to have the inclination to complete your tax return expeditiously to attend to other pressing matters.

However, according to the IRS, hastiness often results in errors. Here are examples of the most frequently flagged mistakes:

  • Misspellings: Any information, from personal names to employer names, is susceptible to being misspelled.
  • Missing Social Security Number (SSN): Omitting your SSN (or that of your spouse and/or children) can hinder the processing of your return.
  • Mathematical errors: Miscalculations can occur easily, even when not rushed, but are more likely when under time pressure
  • Selecting the incorrect filing status: Ensure comprehension of each filing status and select the one that accurately reflects your circumstances.

Make Sure to Double-Check

Opting for direct deposit is the quickest method to get your tax refund.

Make sure to verify the routing and account numbers on your return if you prefer your refund to be deposited directly into your bank account.

Being off by just one number can significantly slow down the processing time.

Before finalizing your return, make sure to carefully review it for any spelling mistakes, missing information, or incomplete sections.

Gather Signatures

Don’t forget to sign the return, and if you’re filing jointly, ensure your spouse has also signed it. Make sure to sign your tax returns before submitting them to avoid delays.

Exceptions may be granted to taxpayers with a valid power of attorney or members of the armed forces.

To prevent this simple mistake, the best approach is to sign your return digitally and submit it electronically.

It’s important to remember that filing your return promptly can help you get your refund faster.

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