Seven Things to Double Check before Filing Your Own Tax Return

So you’ve decided to file your own tax returns? You’ve followed the instruction booklets and filled out the forms. Before you seal the envelopes and drop the returns in the mail, here are seven items you might want to double check.

  1. Social Security numbers. Make sure all SSN’s are correct. It’s easy to transpose two numbers. If you have incorrect SSN’s you will definitely receive a notice from the IRS.
  2. Claim the right number of dependents. Don’t forget to add or remove dependents as necessary. This could greatly impact your tax or refund due.
  3. Standard vs Itemized deductions. Even if you’ve always taken the standard deduction, you should always take a look at Schedule A and compute your itemized deductions. Don’t forget any charitable contributions!
  4. Missed tax credits. Make sure you understand each tax credit. These can be confusing with many criteria and phase out limits.
  5. Wrong filing status/tax table. Use the correct filing status and corresponding tax table. The wrong status or table will significantly affect your tax.
  6. Math mistakes. When completely finished, recalculate all lines of the return.
  7. Mail to the correct addresses and sign your returns. Even if you do everything correct, you’ll encounter all sorts of problems if you forget either one of these things.

Double checking these items should help you avoid that dreaded IRS notice and the headaches that come along with it.