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Tips to Avoid Errors in Tax Filing

March 15, 1994|From Associated Press

A few tips for avoiding common errors in tax returns:

* Check your math, recheck it, then let someone else do the same. (If your return is done via computer, the program will do the calculations for you.)

* Make sure you correctly write your Social Security number and the numbers for all dependents on the return. Include your number on each page of the return in case pages are misplaced during processing, and on the face of any checks made out to the IRS.

* Sign and date the return and make sure your spouse does likewise if filing jointly.

* Check that W-2 forms and 1099 forms are correct. Otherwise, have them corrected as soon as possible.

* Make sure you have used the correct column in the tax-rate table or the tax-rate schedule for filing status.

* Check that you have claimed all your dependents, even elderly parents who may not live with you.

* Don't claim a personal exemption on your return if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return.

* Be sure to claim a credit for any overpaid Social Security taxes withheld from wages if you worked for more than one employer.

* Complete Form 2210, "Underpayment of Estimated Taxes," to calculate the underpayment penalty, rather than have the IRS do so.

* Complete Form 8606, "Non-Deductible IRA Contributions," for any contributions to an individual retirement account even if you don't claim any deduction for the contribution.

* Keep records of all documents sent to the IRS. Use certified mail for important correspondence.

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