Incorrect Social Security numbers top list of most common tax mistakes

Rejected tax returns can delay refund several weeks or months
APPLETON, Wis. - Feb. 13, 2019 - PRLog -- At the close of each tax filing season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) compiles a list of the most common errors taxpayers make when filing their tax returns. Believe it or not, incorrect mathematical calculations are not the number one error. The most frequent culprit for the past several years is submitting incorrect Social Security numbers on individual income tax returns.

When an incorrect return is filed, the IRS first "rejects" it then sends a notice to the taxpayer requesting additional information. This can delay a refund by several weeks, or even months. In other instances, the IRS may issue a refund to you, but for a lesser amount than what you were expecting. This may occur when a claimed dependent has a missing or incorrect Social Security number, or when another taxpayer claims the same dependent.

Another reason you may receive a reduced refund is if you are eligible to claim a tax credit for child and dependent care expenses but you do not include the Social Security number of your caregiver on your tax return. The IRS will issue your refund, less the amount of the credit. You will then have to file an amended return and wait several more weeks for the rest of your money. All this can be avoided if care is given when entering required information on your return.

Other details to keep in mind when filing your taxes this year include:
  • Sign your return in the proper places. If you are filing a joint tax return with a spouse, both of you must sign. If one spouse has passed away during the year, the surviving spouse must write "Deceased," the spouse's name and the date of death across the top of the return, above the area where you enter your address. The surviving spouse should also sign the return and write "filing as surviving spouse" in the signature area below their signature.
  • For proper filing, attach Copy B of all Forms W-2 received during the year to the federal return. Also, attach any Forms 1099 that report tax withholding. For electronic filing, all appropriate W-2 or Form 1099 information should be entered on the input form, which is included with the electronic return.
  • Mail your return to the proper address. The IRS often changes the address for mailing returns. If you have a balance due, you must use a payment voucher and mail your return to a lock box instead of the service center. If you electronically file your return, the chance of mailing your return to the wrong service center is virtually eliminated.
  • If you owe money this year, make your check payable to the United States Treasury Service not the IRS.
  • Double-check the tax from the tax tables, as well as all calculations.
  • Make a copy of the return for your records.
  • Be certain there is enough postage on the envelope. Include your full return address. If you owe, it's a good idea to spend the extra dollars and use registered mail so there is a record that the IRS received your return.
Taking a few minutes to double check your tax return before sending it to the IRS, whether you mail it or electronically file, will increase the likeliness that IRS issues your refund in a timely manner. The IRS encourages taxpayers to e-file. By e-filing your tax return, many common errors may be avoided or corrected by the computer software.

This article contains general tax information for taxpayers. Each tax situation may be different, so do not rely upon this information as your sole source of authority. The National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP) advises working with a trusted expert who keeps current on tax law changes and is an NATP member. To learn more about NATP or to find a registered tax professional near you, visit


NATP is the largest association dedicated to equipping tax professionals with the resources, connections and education they need to provide the highest level of service to their clients. NATP is comprised of more than 22,000 leading tax professionals who believe in a superior standard of ethics and exemplify professional excellence. Members rely on NATP to deliver professional connections, content expertise and advocacy that provides them with the support they need to best serve their clients.  The organization welcomes all tax professionals in their quest to continually meet the needs of the public, no matter where they are in their careers. The NATP headquarters is located in Appleton, WI. To learn more, visit

Nancy Kasten, NATP marketing director

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