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Common Tax Filing Mistakes

With the tax filing extension giving you until July 15th to file your return, it is easy to overlook ways to avoid receiving a letter from the IRS. Here are some of the most common tax filing mistakes:

Forgetting a W-2 or 1099. The IRS does an effective job comparing W-2s and 1099s they receive from organizations to the amounts you claim on your tax return. If they do not match, rest assured you will receive a notice in the mail asking for clarification.

Duplicate dependent reporting. If more than one tax return claims the same person as a dependent, the second return will be rejected. The IRS does not try to determine which tax return is correct. They leave that up to you.

Forgetting a name change. If you fail to change your name with the Social Security Administration after getting married and you file a tax return with your new last name, be prepared for either a rejected tax return or an adjusted tax return.

Other missing information. When preparing your tax return, often the return is held up because key information is missing. These missing items range from property tax and mortgage interest statements, to confirmations of charitable donations and tuition.

Signing the e-file authorization form. Your tax return cannot be e-filed without proper authorization. After reviewing your return, a properly signed Form 8879 must be received.