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2023 Tax season: Avoid common filing mistakes with these tips from the IRS

With under a month left to file your tax return, here are some tips to avoid making common mistakes directly from the IRS.

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Tax season is well underway in the United States, with taxpayers having until 18 April to file.

This deadline has been pushed back for some residents in Alabama, California, and Georgia after natural disasters created hurdles for many to submit their returns on time. Taxpayers who feel that they made need an extension can also apply for one without penalty, and the IRS will push back the due date to 16 October.

Tips to avoid tax refund delays in 2023

To help taxpayers receive their refunds in a timely manner, the IRS has released some guidance to keep in mind to ensure they have a smooth filing experience.

File electronically

Not only will filing your tax return online make sure you receive your refund more quickly, but it also reduces the chance of errors being made. Most tax software ensures that the values reported are consistent with IRS processes and reduces the chance that your tax return be flagged. The IRS has compiled a list of free and paid filing programs to submit your return electronically. Most refunds are issued in less than 21 days if submitted electronically, while those received by the IRS through the mail can take 6-12 weeks.

Make sure the information you provide is correct

Before you file, make sure you have all the information that will be asked for organized. Many of the most common errors are often based on mistakes in providing this information which includes social security numbers, individual taxpayer identification numbers, and security pins.

Additionally, make sure to double-check the information on your W-2 or other documents used to report your income. Sometimes these processes are automated in current tax software, and to ensure the information is transferred correctly, a pair of human eyes may help. Inconsistencies in your income may be flagged by the IRS and would likely delay the sending of your refund.

Who do checks need to be made out to?

If your money to the IRS and you are submitting your refund by mail, you need to make your check payable to “United States Treasury.” The check or money order should be enclosed with one’s return, which should include their “name, address, taxpayer identification number, daytime telephone number, tax form, and tax year on the payment.”

Most common mistakes

The IRS has reported that the most common errors made typically relate to selecting the correct filing status and reporting the correct number of dependents that can be claimed. Additionally, the tax authority reminds those submitting by mail that they need to put a parathesis around negative numbers and that the package of documents must be signed and dated to be processed.

Getting over the finish line

Lastly, make sure that the correct postage is applied because if not, the forms may be sent back to you, and you could find yourself penalized for submitting your return after the national deadline.