As last-minute filers rush to meet April 18 income tax fast approaching this year filing deadline (moved from April 15 due to Emancipation Day), the Illinois CPA Society encourages a break to double-check easily avoided mistakes that, no matter how small, can create filing problems and delays reimbursement. To make sure you’re filing error-free Illinois and federal tax returns that help you get timely refunds, double-check these important areas on your tax forms:
- Your filing status: This is the first item on your IRS Form 1040, yet checking the correct box can often be overlooked. You only have four choices to choose from, but if you were married, divorced, widowed, or your marital status changed in 2021, that may need to be reflected here. If you are unsure of your filing status, a certified public accountant (CPA) can help you determine the correct and most beneficial filing status.
- Your names): What should perhaps be the simplest part of your tax return is often overlooked. A misspelled first or last name, missing initial, or formal name change that isn’t properly listed can create a filing nightmare. And if you are filing as a “Married in Joint Filing”, be sure to check all of the above for your spouse as well.
- Your social security number(s): Like your name, a missing or incorrect social security number can create unexpected problems. Social security numbers serve as individual tax identification numbers and should be included.
- Your direct deposit information: If you are eligible for a tax refund, a direct deposit to your bank account is the fastest and safest way to get it from the IRS, but make sure the routing number, account number and account type (checking or savings) are all Correct.
- Your signature: Whether you prepare yourself or work with a CPA to prepare and file your federal and state tax returns, it’s a lot of work. After all that, the only way to officially file them is to sign and date them.
- Your calendar: Although it won’t appear on your tax return, all 2021 personal tax returns are due by midnight on April 18. If you simply cannot get your tax returns on time, you should file IRS Form 4868 to request a six-month filing extension. . But beware, if you think or know you owe taxes to the IRS or Illinois Department of Revenue, you must always make an estimated payment before the original filing deadline, or potential interest and penalties may result. be charged on the amount due. If you get an extension to file your federal tax return, you automatically get an extension to file your Illinois tax return, but if you owe Illinois tax, you must use the Form IL-505-I, Automatic Extension Payment for Individuals, to avoid penalty and interest on taxes not paid by the original filing deadline.
Filing federal and state tax returns is always a hectic and complicated process. The Illinois CPA Society reminds taxpayers that CPAs have your back. CPAs are strategically positioned to help you file your tax returns while determining the best ways to maximize your tax deductions. The Illinois CPA Society’s free “Find a CPA” directory can help you find the right trusted strategic advisor for you based on location, types of services needed, and languages spoken. Find your CPA at www.icpas.org/findacpa.