Ok I did grow up with Income Taxes all around me, but I don’t think that makes me biased when I have a sore spot for simple income tax errors that result in tremendous problems. There is one simple rule when dealing with the government: DO NOT MAKE MISTAKES! They are very hard to correct, and they often look like a cover-up to something else going on.
The US Government doesn’t like to think. Often when government employees are made to do so, it doesn’t end well because they have too many procedures to follow up on. It also doesn’t matter what you say to them, they are only looking at the paperwork and what’s right in front of them. So when there are the silly errors made year after year, I just really don’t get it…
- Entering the wrong social security – do you really not know your social security number? I get that many people don’t but just read it off the card, don’t “try” to remember just before you sign your return to be mailed in.
- Filing joint or separate – Filing separately doesn’t give you more credit, and it usually will not qualify you for getting married credits. You can’t do both people!
- Mistakes in math – 1+1=2. It doesn’t usually work like, 1+1=1.75, because that will allow you to obtain other credits and have an end outcome showing 1+1=1.
- Dependents – Make sure they qualify! Cousin Bob is not going to be a dependent if he’s filing for himself. Don’t steal a niece or nephew just to get more credit.
- Be reasonable – The IRS does not believe that you earned $75K a year in salary, and had $70K in expenses. Would anybody believe that you lived off $5K for an entire year?
- Attach your W-2’s – Do you think the IRS will take your word for it? Honestly… It’s all about documentation.
- Sign – You need to sign your return. Do you really want to pay penalties and fees because you didn’t put ink to the paper?