The goal for every taxpayer is to have their return filed quickly and without error. Here’s the first half of a handy list of items that are often overlooked and can cause all sorts of delays.
Review your tax return and return your signed eFile forms – Your tax returns can’t be filed until you have reviewed them and returned the signed eFile forms to your preparer. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’re filed.
Having proof of health insurance – You should receive a Form 1095 confirming you have health insurance. However, if your employer is one of those that received approval to send a delayed form, you still need to provide your preparer with proof of insurance before filing.
Missing W-2 and/or 1099 – One missing income form and the next thing you know, you’re paying to file an amended. Using last year’s tax return, or a tax organizer provided by your preparer, make sure all prior W-2’s and 1099’s are received and provided to your tax preparer.
Incorrect information on a W-2 or 1099 – Always double-check your forms to make sure the information is accurate – one wrong spelling of a name or one digit off on your SSN and the filing process comes to a screeching halt. Make sure 1099 income is in the correct box. Are you receiving rents and receive a 1099-MISC with the amount in the Non-Employee Compensation box? Then you face a choice – either try to get the form corrected or delay filing your tax return.
Missing or invalid Social Security Number – This one is sort of a given – if you don’t have a valid SSN, there will be no tax filing.
Dependent already claimed – Share joint custody of a child? Or, did your college student think they could file claiming themselves? Your return cannot be filed if there is a conflict in this area. Make sure it’s clear who gets to claim the dependents in your life.
Look for the second part of this article next week!