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.