People all over the country are rushing to get their tax returns prepared and filed, and as Sandra Block of USA Today.com explains in this new article, when you hurry, you're more likely to make mistakes. She put together a list of 10 last-minute errors that could attract unwelcome attention from the IRS. I have included a few of the items below, but be sure to check out the full list at USA Today.com.
1. Incorrect Social Security numbers
In 1987, the IRS started requiring parents to provide Social Security numbers for children who were claimed as dependents on their tax returns.
If you omit Social Security numbers for any of your dependents — or use a wrong SSN — the IRS may disallow the exemption. You also could lose some valuable credits, such as the child tax credit, the child and dependent care credit and the earned income tax credit.
When you enter a dependent's last name, make sure it's the exact name that appears on the child's Social Security card. Likewise, if you got married and changed your name, make sure you notify the Social Security Administration before you file your taxes.
2. Incorrect bank account information
The IRS strongly encourages taxpayers to file electronically and arrange for direct deposit of their refunds. E-filing reduces errors and enables you to get your refund in a couple of weeks, vs. four to six weeks for paper-filed returns. But if you go this route, take extra care when you plug in your routing and account numbers. Otherwise, your money could end up in someone else's bank account.
3. Overlooking charitable contributions