Tax Return Errors-Tips To Avoid Them (ASL) - YouTube video text script


Hi, I'm Maria, and I work for the IRS.

Did you know that if there are mistakes on your tax return it can take longer to get your refund?

Worse yet, you may owe additional tax.

Many common errors can be avoided by using tax software to walk you through each step of preparing a tax return.

If you still file by paper, make sure you pay close attention to the instructions.

Examples of common mistakes include not choosing the right filing status. You can avoid this mistake by using our Interactive Tax Assistant on to help you choose the right one.

Not entering the correct Social Security numbers and names for you, your spouse and any dependents you're claiming, exactly as they appear on everyone's Social Security card, is also a common mistake.

So, make sure you double check those.

And, if your name changed after getting married or divorced, be sure to update the information with the Social Security Administration before filing a tax return using your new name.

Another problem is incorrectly claiming credits and deductions.

This includes things like the Child Care Credit, the Premium Tax Credit and the special standard deduction for people who are senior citizens or blind.

Another frequent error is incorrectly figuring out the taxable amount of IRA distributions, pensions and annuities or Social Security benefits.

If you file a return on paper, pay close attention, because you may have to fill out a worksheet.

And speaking of paper returns, math errors are common, as well as putting in the wrong routing or bank account number for the direct deposit of your refund, and forgetting to sign and date your return before mailing it.

If you're married and filing jointly, both spouses must sign and date the return.

If not, we'll have to send it back to you for signature.

For more information on how to avoid mistakes, go to

But, the best way to avoid mistakes is by using tax software or by getting help from a tax pro who uses it.

Tax software even does the math for you.

And chances are, you can use tax software online, at no cost, by visiting

Or, you may be able to electronically file for free through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs.

To see all your e-filing options and to get started, go to