Tax deadline today, avoid these last-minute mistakes

April 18, 2011

Because of Emancipation Day, a holiday that celebrates the freeing of slaves in D.C., the traditional tax deadline has been extended until midnight tonight.

Procrastinators need to make sure in the rush to beat the deadline that they don’t make these common mistakes that the IRS and tax professionals see. Before sending off your return:

—    Make sure you put the correct Social Security number, and that you haven’t accidently transposed numbers.

—    If you’re old fashioned and file a paper return,  check your figures. Tax software usually catches math errors for you.

—    If you’re getting your refund directly deposited in your account, make sure the routing and account numbers are correct. Otherwise, the money can be deposited in someone else’s account.

—    Make sure your filing status — single, married or head of household, for instance — is correct. The right filing status is whatever your situation was as of Dec. 31, 2010.

—    Make sure you claim the Making Work Pay credit if filing a paper return. This credit put up to an extra $400 in your paycheck last year, if single, and up to $800 if you’re married. But if you file Form 1040, you need to complete a Schedule M and attach it to your return to get the benefit  of the credit. If you use tax software, the program will do this for you.

—    Don’t forget to attach W-2s or other forms that are required to be submitted.

—    Make sure you sign and date the return.

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