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If You Want a Quick Tax Refund, Avoid These 8 Mistakes – CNET

The deadline for filing your 2021 tax return has passed. Taxes are due on Monday, April 18th, which is only three days away.

The stress of filing taxes might increase as the deadline approaches. However, don’t worry and speed through your tax return. Inadvertent errors committed in haste can result in your tax return being rejected or your refund being delayed for months.

Double-check our list of frequent tax return errors below if you want to obtain your entire tax refund on schedule.

If your tax return is rejected and you’ve filed your taxes on time, the IRS will offer you five days to fix the information and resubmit, though this will delay your refund.

Continue reading to learn how to avoid the most common tax filing blunders.

About 20% of taxpayers, according to the IRS, wait until the week before the deadline to file their tax forms.

If you owe the IRS money, this isn’t necessarily a terrible strategy; however, if you’re expecting a refund, you’re playing with fire.

If complications develop, procrastinating on your taxes leaves little opportunity for error, and failing to file your return on time would almost certainly complicate the status of your tax refund.

If you owe the IRS money, you’ll have to pay a late filing fee, as well as extra penalties.

It’s free to submit a six-month tax extension until Oct. 18, but you’ll have to pay estimated taxes, and if you’re expecting a return, you’ll lose money.

This error may appear absurd, but it is more common than you might imagine. Make sure you enter your full name as it appears on your Social Security card, as well as your Social Security number in its entirety. Your tax return will be rejected if either is not identical.

If your legal name has changed, you must first contact the Social Security Administration to correct your information before filing your taxes under your new name.

The IRS utilises your adjusted gross income, or AGI, from the previous year to verify your identity when you file your tax return electronically. To file your 2021 taxes online, you’ll need your exact AGI from your 2020 tax return.

Your tax return will be denied if your AGI does not match that of the previous year, and you will have to submit it again.

If you’ve misplaced your 2018 tax return, you may look up your AGI for 2020 by requesting an instant transcript from the IRS website, however, you’ll need to first register a free online IRS account.

If you haven’t yet had your 2020 tax return processed by the IRS, you should write $0 for your 2020 AGI when filing this year’s form.

If you didn’t file a tax return in 2020 but used the nonfiler tool to claim stimulus or child tax credit payments last year, your 2020 AGI must be $1.


Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child are all options for US taxpayers. Your file status affects your standard deduction, tax credit eligibility, and overall tax burden.

The What Is My Filing Status? a tool from the IRS will assist you in determining your own situation and making the appropriate choice.

If your filing status is incorrect, you’ll have to file an updated return using Form 1040-X at the very least. In the worst-case scenario, the IRS may suspect tax fraud and initiate an investigation.

Don’t let a few arithmetic errors get the best of you.

The spreadsheets and regulations for many tax items, such as the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, mortgage interest deduction, and child care deduction, might be difficult to compute on your own.

A mistyped number or incorrect computation might lead to an improper tax refund, which means you’ll either lose money or have to pay back an overage in taxes and penalties.

Tax software that collects and calculates all of the numbers you need to complete your taxes correctly will almost eliminate these types of errors. All of the leading tax software packages include accuracy guarantees that cover any damages or fines incurred as a result of software faults.

For tax software to work properly, you’ll still need to enter accurate data, so double-check all of your numbers before filing.

If you prefer to complete your taxes manually, the IRS’ Interactive Tax Assistant can assist you with a variety of credit and deduction computations.

If you got the monthly advance child tax credit or the third stimulus check last year, you’ll have to declare the total amounts on your 2021 tax return.

If you omit such information or enter the numbers incorrectly, the IRS warns it will “need to further evaluate the tax return, causing a significant wait.”

The IRS delivered letters to taxpayers earlier this year containing the total amounts — Letter 6475 for your stimulus check (or economic impact payment) and Letter 6419 for your child tax credit instalments.

If you didn’t receive those letters or misplaced them, you can use an online IRS account to check the information.

IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig testified before the House Ways and Means Committee that the IRS “received substantially more than 10 million returns” last year where people misreported stimulus money. These returns necessitate manual scrutiny, which can cause significant delays.

According to the IRS, if you file electronically with direct deposit, you should receive your refund in about 21 days.

It won’t work, though, if you file your tax return with the incorrect bank account or routing numbers. It’s too late to amend your banking information once the IRS has approved your return.

If the IRS is unable to deposit your refund into your bank account online, it will mail you a paper check to the mailing address indicated on your tax return, which will take six to eight weeks to arrive, but you can set up alerts with the Postal Service to know when it will arrive.

The IRS may deposit your tax refund money into someone else’s bank account if you put the valid account and routing numbers on your tax return that aren’t yours.

In that instance, you’ll need to contact the bank and, more than likely, go to a branch to establish your identity and explain the problem with proof. After you’ve gotten the bank to return the funds, the IRS will send you a printed check.

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Filing a paper tax return will significantly delay your tax refund. If you file it without a signature, the IRS will reject it and ask you to file it again, which will take much longer.

Both partners must sign the tax return if they’re married and filing jointly. Active military personnel stationed overseas and others who require the assistance of a third party with power of attorney are exempt.

You’ll never have to worry about this error again if you file online and sign your return digitally.

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