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11 steps to help avoid delays on your tax return

The IRS urges tax filers to avoid common mistakes.

tax return

Here are 11 steps to avoid mistakes and delays for you tax return.

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1. File Electronically

The IRS is offering their free file program again this year. Most tax software programs will walk you though the return process. They generally use the question and answer format. Find more information here.

2. Use the right filing status

You can chose to file single, married joint filing, married filing separately, head of household, and qualifying widow with dependent child. If you are unsure of your filing status, the IRS website offers an Interactive Tax Assistant.

3. Answer the virtual currency question

This simple question is commonly overlooked when filing, as simple as it may sound. If you received, sold, exchanged, or disposed of virtual currency you must answer yes or no. Do not leave the field blank.

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4. Report all taxable income

Failure to report all taxable income will result in interest and penalties. Be sure to have all income forms including your W-2, 1099-MISC, or 1099-NEC ready before filing your return.

5. Include unemployment compensation

All unemployment compensation must also be reported. Unemployment received during 2021 is subject to taxes.

6. Double- check your personal information

Be sure your name, birthday, and Social Security number is entered correctly. An error in this information could delay the processing of your refund.

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7. Double check account and routing numbers

If you are requesting your return via direct deposit, be sure that your account and routing numbers are correct. An error could cause your refund being deposited into the wrong account.

8. Confirm your address

If you plan to receive your return via paper mail, be sure you have the right address. Paper returns are usually subject to longer delays. The IRS encourages Americans to file electronically if possible.

9. Sign and date the return

Spouses who file together must both sign and date the return. Skipping this step could result in processing delays.

10. Keep a copy

Be sure to keep a copy of your tax returns for your records.

11. Request and extension if you need to

if you can’t meet this year’s tax deadline of April 18, consider requesting an extension. Generally a six month extension is granted, which would give you until October 17, 2022 to file.

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