The National Society of Accountants recently released these tips, courtesy of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service: file electronically. If you choose to e-file, many of the common errors are avoided or corrected by the computer software. If your income is under $52,000 you may be able to e-file for free using IRS Free File.
– Use the peel-off label if you choose to mail a paper return. You may line through and make necessary corrections right on the label. Be sure to fill in your Social Security number in the box provided on the return. If you do not have a peel-off label, fill in all requested information clearly, including the Social Security numbers.
– Check only one filing status on the tax return and check the appropriate exemption boxes. Enter the correct Social Security numbers for each of those exemptions.
– Use the correct Tax Table column for your filing status.
– Double check all figures on the return. Math errors are common mistakes.
– Make sure that the financial institution routing and account numbers you have entered on the return for a direct deposit of your refund are accurate. Incorrect numbers can cause the refund to be delayed or misdirected into someone else’s account.
– Sign and date the return. If filing a joint return, both spouses must sign and date the return.
– Attach all Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and other forms that reflect tax withheld to the front of the return. Attach all other necessary forms and schedules.
– Do you owe tax? If so, enclose a check or money order made payable to the “United States Treasury” and Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if used. Or, you may choose to pay by credit card by contacting one of the credit card service providers.
If you’re still looking for a tax preparer you can contact NSA at www.nsacct.org and click on “Find a Professional” or call 800-966-6679. www.naea.org/ and www.aicpa.org/ are other good organizations to try.
April 10, 2008.