Tax-Filing Errors That Could Cause Your Tax Return to Be Delayed
When you file your tax return, you want it processed as quickly as possible—especially if you’re expecting a tax refund. Unfortunately, the IRS began this year with over 6 million unprocessed tax returns, and with a shortage of staff on hand, it may be slow going to get this year’s returns processed. While there’s little we can do about the IRS backlog, taxpayers can try to avoid common tax-filing errors that frequently result in processing delays. Keep reading to learn more about the common errors you can try to avoid, so your return can be processed more quickly.
Advanced Child Tax Credit Errors
The advanced payments for your Child Tax Credit are a new source of income that taxpayers have never seen before. As with any new income source, there’s bound to be some confusion and a few errors when reporting it to the IRS. It’s incredibly important that you double (and perhaps triple) check the amounts you received in advanced Child Tax Credit payments to ensure they’re being reported accurately.
The IRS is offering some support with this by sending out Letter 6419 to families who received these payments. However, it’s still a good idea to compare the amount listed in your Letter 6419 against your own records to ensure accuracy. Some taxpayers reported earlier this year that the amounts listed in their letters were inaccurate. While it’s unclear exactly how many inaccurate letters were sent out, the IRS has said they believe these errors to be minimal. Still, it’s always better to ensure accuracy than to be left trying to sort out errors on your tax return after filing it.
Filing via Mail
While filing via mail is an option for taxpayers and isn’t technically an “error,” it will certainly cause a delay in your tax return being processed. Electronically filed returns are received and processed much more quickly, as a great deal of the work on electronic tax returns can be automated. A computer can double check the numbers against IRS records and look for red flags that need a human’s attention. Many simple returns can be entirely processed via automation, so you don’t even have to worry about the shortage of human IRS workers.
However, if you file via mail, you’re asking for an immediate slowdown on your tax return. For starters, we all know that the postal service has been running slower than normal these days, so it might take a while before your tax return even arrives at the IRS. Then, the entire process for your tax return will have to be done by a human—a human who likely already has thousands of tax returns to work through. Filing electronically is definitely the better option if you want your return processed quickly.
We know, a tax return requires a lot of information. Oftentimes, taxpayers get so swept up in filling out the financial information that they forget the simple, straightforward information that they know by heart. They forget to write in their Social Security numbers, forget to sign their forms, or even misspell their own names or the names of their dependents. All of these simple errors will certainly result in a delay in processing your tax return.
This is another good reason to file electronically: Though the tax filing program might not catch a swapped number or letter, it won’t allow you to file without filling all necessary sections of the return.
Filing with an Outdated IP PIN
If you opted into the IRS’s IP PIN program (which you really should do), it’s important to remember that you get a new IP PIN every year. This helps to ensure that tax scammers can’t file a fake return in your name, but it also means you need to make sure you’re using the correct IP PIN for your 2021 return and not the one that you used last year. If you use the wrong IP PIN, your return will likely be rejected and you’ll have refile.
If you’re concerned about your tax return getting delayed, contact Camputaro & Associates today. We’ll help you gather the necessary tax documents, review your finances, and ensure that all information is entered and calculated correctly before filing your return. Then, we’ll submit it electronically to help ensure that your return is processed as quickly as possible. Remember, the tax deadline is little more than six weeks away, so schedule a consultation with our tax preparers as soon as possible.
Camputaro and Associates
Certified Public Accounting Firm
136 N. Orchard Street, Suite 8
Ormond Beach, FL 32174