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Avoid Common Tax Filing Mistakes

With the backlog of tax return filing due to late changing tax laws, want to ensure your refund gets to you in the shortest amount of time? More importantly, how can you avoid receiving a letter from the IRS? Here are some of the most common tax filing mistakes:

Forgetting a W-2 or 1099: The IRS does an effective job in comparing W-2s and 1099s they receive from organizations to the amounts you claim on your tax return. If they do not match, rest assured you will receive a notice in the mail asking for clarification.

The 1095 form: Through 2018, all taxpayers must now prove they have valid health care coverage for themselves, their spouse, and their children. This is done with Form 1095. Make sure you receive yours prior to filing your tax return.

Duplicate dependent reporting: If more than one tax return claims the same person as a dependent, the second return will be rejected. The IRS does not try to determine which tax return is correct. They leave that up to you.

Forgetting a name change: If you fail to change your name with Social Security after marriage and you file a tax return with your "new" last name, be prepared for either a rejected tax return or an adjusted tax return.

Other missing information: When preparing your tax return, often the return is held up because key information is missing. These missing items range from property tax and mortgage interest statements, to 1099s and W-2s.

Signing the e-file authorization form: Your tax return cannot be e-filed without proper authorization. After reviewing your return, a properly signed Form 8879 must be received.

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