The clock is ticking! People have only a few weeks left to get those returns in. But don’t sacrifice accuracy for speed…Many mistakes people make on their taxes are completely avoidable.
The United States Tax Code clocks in at 18,500, pages! It’s easy to see how taxpayers can make a mistake or two when filing federal income tax forms. But with over 97,000 full-time employees at the IRS, you can bet it’s not going to go unnoticed. Here are some of the guiltiest repeat offenders—Steer clear of them and you’ll get your refund faster and can avoid having your IRS agent over for a cup of tea.
1. Sign and date your return.
Probably the easiest part of preparing your taxes is signing your John Hancock, but it’s still one of the most common mistakes year after year. The IRS will not accept your return if you fail to sign and date your income tax form. It delays the process—and your refund! Remember also that when filing jointly, both spouses must sign.
2. Check the right box.
Another common mistake is checking the wrong filing status. You have five choices: single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household and qualifying widower. Taxpayers often incorrectly claim head of household filing status without meeting the requirements. You can qualify for head of household status (and a larger deduction) if you are unmarried at the end of the year, have cared for a closely-related dependent for over half the year and paid more than half the cost of maintaining a home for yourself and your dependent.
And we already covered that the dog doesn’t count as a dependent.
3. Get the numbers right.
This is another mistake that you can sidestep if you’re just a little more careful. The names and Social Security numbers for the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, dependents, and children who qualify for the Earned Income Credit or Child Tax Credit must be included on the return exactly as they appear on their Social Security Cards.
4. This one is critical: Show them the money.
According to the IRS, taxpayers often make the mistake of failing to report income that’s not included on a W-2 or 1099 form, including rental income and self-employment income. If you neglect to report that type of income, it may cost you in the long run: The IRS can assess interest and penalties, not to mention criminal prosecution. Don’t risk it.
5. Add it all up.
One of the top reasons the IRS adjusts returns is math mistakes, so get out that calculator and start number crunching. It also doesn’t hurt to have a second set of eyes check your work. This is another advantage to filing online—the electronic filing software double-checks your math.
An error-free return means faster processing and a faster refund check for you, so cross your T’s and dot your I’s and before you put it in the mail, make a copy.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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