Tax Tip 2023-48: Common errors on a tax return can lead to longer processing times

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IRS Tax Tips April 11, 2023

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Issue Number:  Tax Tip 2023-48

Common errors on a tax return can lead to longer processing times

When a tax return has errors, like typos or math mistakes, it can lead to longer processing times and frustration for taxpayers. Many common errors are easy to avoid by carefully reviewing the tax return.

Before filing their tax return, taxpayers should review their return for a few common issues.

Incorrect filing status
If taxpayers are unsure about their filing status, the Interactive Tax Assistant on can help them choose the correct status, especially if more than one filing status applies. Tax software, including IRS Free File, also helps prevent mistakes when selecting a tax return filing status.

Errors in names, birth dates and Social Security numbers
Taxpayers must correctly list the name, date of birth and Social Security number for each person they claim as a dependent on their individual income tax return. They should enter each SSN and name on a tax return exactly as it’s printed on the Social Security card.

If a dependent or spouse does not have a Social Security number and isn’t eligible to get one, taxpayers can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number and list that instead. 

Not answering the digital assets question
Forms 1040 and 1040-SR for tax year 2022 ask whether, at any time during 2022, the taxpayer received, sold, exchanged, gifted or otherwise disposed of a digital asset or financial interest in any digital asset. Taxpayers must complete this field by checking either “Yes” or “No.”

Incorrect routing and account numbers
Taxpayers can request direct deposit of a federal refund into one, two or even three accounts. They should make sure the financial institution routing and account numbers entered on the return are correct. Incorrect numbers can delay a refund or deposit it into the wrong account. Taxpayers should also make sure the name on the account matches the name on the tax return.

Taxpayers can also use their refund to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds.

Not signing and dating the return
If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return. When taxpayers are self-preparing their taxes and filing electronically, they must sign and validate their electronic tax return by entering their prior year's adjusted gross income (AGI). Taxpayers can review Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return if they have questions.



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