Electronic tax

Don’t Make These Common Tax Filing Mistakes If You Want Your IRS Refund Fast

Making a simple mistake on your tax return can have costly consequences.

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This story is part Taxes 2022CNET’s coverage of the best tax software and everything you need to file quickly, accurately and on time.

The days of filing a tax return with pen and paper are long gone – the complexity of the modern US tax code makes using tax software or hiring a tax specialist a must for most people. However, the most common mistakes Americans make when filing taxes are much easier to fix than things like the home office deduction Where child tax credit overpayment.

To receive your correct tax refund on time and get all the money you deserve, be sure to double-check our list of common tax return mistakes below. If you receive a tax return rejection notice and you filed your taxes on time, don’t panic – you have five days to correct the information and file again, although any tax refunds will be delayed.

To find out more, inquire CNET’s best free tax softwarehow to track your tax refund electronically Where in the email and the the biggest tax changes and deductions for 2022.

Mistake #1: Filing your taxes late

Tax deadline this year in the United States, it is April 18. The IRS estimates that about 20% of taxpayers wait until the week before the deadline to file their tax return. If you owe the IRS money, that’s not necessarily a bad tactic, but if you have a refund coming up, it’s playing with fire.

Procrastinating on your taxes leaves little wiggle room in case something goes wrong, and not filing your return on time will certainly complicate the status of your tax refund. If you owe the IRS money, you will have to pay late filing fees and other penalties will begin to accrue.

It is free to file for a six-month extension until October 18, but you will need to pay any estimated taxes due and you lose money if you are expecting a refund.

Mistake #2: Misspelling a Name or Using the Wrong Social Security Number

This error may seem ridiculous, but it is more common than you think. Be sure to enter your full name exactly as it is written on your social security card, as well as the correct social security number. If either is not exactly the same, your tax return will be rejected.

If your legal name has changed, you will need to contact the social security administration first to update it, then file your taxes with your own name.

Mistake #3: Wrong deposit status

U.S. taxpayers can file their tax returns as single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household, and eligible widow(ies) with dependent children. Your filing status determines your standard deduction, your eligibility for tax credits, and your overall tax liability.

Theirs’ What is my filing status? tool will help you determine your own situation and make the right choice. If your filing status is incorrect, at best you will need to file an amended return with Form 1040-X. At worst, the IRS may suspect tax evasion and investigate.

Mistake #4: Miscalculations of credits or deductions

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Don’t let miscalculations get you down.

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Child tax creditincome tax credit, mortgage interest deduction, child care deduction — worksheets and rules for many such tax items can be difficult to calculate on your own. A wrong number or miscalculation can result in an inaccurate tax refund, meaning you lose possible money or have to repay an excess with fees and penalties.

Quality tax software will nearly eliminate these kinds of errors, by collecting and calculating all the numbers you need to file your taxes correctly. All of the best tax products offer accuracy guarantees that will pay for any loss or penalty if their software makes calculation errors. You will still need to enter correct information for the tax software to work properly, so be sure to double check all your numbers before filing your return.

If you prefer to do your taxes the old-fashioned way, the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant can help with a wide range of credit and deduction calculations.

Mistake #5: Incorrect Reporting of Child Tax Credit and Stimulus Payments

If you have received monthly child tax credit advance payments or the third stimulus check last year, you will need to report the total amount of those payments on your 2021 tax return. If you fail to include this information or get the amounts wrong, the The taxman says that he “will have to review the tax return further, which will create a significant delay”.

Earlier this year, the IRS sent letters to taxpayers — Letter 6475 for your stimulus check (or economic impact payment) and Letter 6419 for your child tax credit payments – which included the total amounts. If you did not receive these letters or if you accidentally threw them away, you can also search for this information with a online IRS account.

Mistake #6: Entering wrong bank account or routing numbers

File electronically with direct deposit and you’ll receive your refund in about 21 days, according to the IRS. However, this will not work if you enter the wrong bank account or routing numbers when you file your tax return. Once the IRS accepts your return, it’s too late to change your banking information.

If the IRS cannot electronically deposit your refund to your bank account, they will send you a paper check to the mailing address listed on your tax return, which the The IRS says it will take six to eight weeksalthough you can set up alerts with the Post Office to know when it will arrive.

If you accidentally enter valid account and routing numbers that don’t belong to you on your tax return, the IRS may deposit your tax refund money into someone else’s bank account. In this case, you will need to contact the bank and probably go to an office in person to prove your identity and explain the situation with documents. After asking the bank to return the money, you will receive a paper check in the mail from the IRS.

Mistake #7: Unsigned Tax Returns

Filing a paper tax return will significantly slow down your tax refund. If you file it without a signature, the IRS will reject your return and ask you to refile it, which will significantly slow down the process.

If you are married and filing jointly, both partners must sign the tax return. There are exceptions for military serving overseas and others who need to use a third party proxy.

File electronically, sign your return digitally and you will never have to worry about this error.