Practical Ways To Avoid Getting Your Tax Return Rejected

Tax Return Rejected

The tax season can be a stressful time for many people, and the last thing anyone wants is to receive a rejected tax return. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also lead to penalties and fines. However, it is crucial to understand why a tax return can be rejected and what actions can be taken to rectify the situation. In this article, we will discuss the most common reasons why tax returns are rejected and provide practical tips to help prevent it from happening.

What Are the Common Reasons for Rejected Tax Returns?

Incorrect Personal Information

One of the most common reasons why the IRS rejects a tax return is due to incorrect information. This can include typos in your name, social security number, or other identifying information. Fixing typos and misspellings in your tax return can be relatively easy and straightforward. You can correct them online and resubmit your tax return for e-filing.

Claimed Dependent On Another Return

If you claim a dependent on your tax return and someone else has also claimed the same dependent, it can result in a rejected tax return. This mistake commonly happens with divorced or unmarried spouses who both claim the same child. The IRS usually accepts the first filed return and rejects any subsequent filings.

Duplicate Tax Return Filed

If another individual has already filed a tax return using your taxpayer number (Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number), the IRS may reject your tax return. This issue usually arises if you or your spouse has already filed a return for the current year. However, it’s also possible that you or your spouse has fallen victim to identity theft and someone else has fraudulently filed a tax return using your taxpayer number.

Mismatch EIN

If the Employer Identification Number (EIN) on your tax return doesn’t match the information that the IRS has in its database, the agency will reject your tax return.

Wrong Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)

To ensure secure e-filing, the IRS checks your identity by requesting the adjusted gross income (AGI) from your recent tax return. If you provide an incorrect AGI, perhaps because you lost your old tax return and are guessing the number, the IRS may also reject your return.

Unsigned Tax Return

Failure to sign your tax return may result in rejection by the IRS. The IRS requires that all tax returns must have signatures. This is a way of confirming that the information you have provided is true and accurate to the best of your knowledge. This applies to both manual and electronic tax filers.

How Do You Know If Your Tax Return Is Rejected?

If there’s an issue with your tax return, the IRS will typically notify you by mail. In rare cases, an IRS agent may contact you by phone or visit your residence. However, this only happens after sending multiple written notices beforehand. For those who submitted their tax returns electronically, the IRS will provide an error code and explain why the tax return was not accepted. If a company electronically filed your return on your behalf, they are responsible for informing you of any errors and correcting the return.

How To Fix

If your tax return is rejected, don’t panic. Here are the steps you should take to fix the situation:

  1. Understand the Reason: The first step is understanding why the IRS rejected it. This will help you identify the specific error and what you need to do to correct it.
  1. Correct the Error: Once you have identified the error, you must correct it. This may involve filing an amended tax return or providing additional information to the IRS.
  1. Resubmit Your Tax Return: Once you have corrected all the errors, you must resubmit your tax return to the IRS. You can refile electronically or mail your tax return, depending on the reason for the rejection. If you misspell your name or made mistakes in entering your SSN or EIN, you can correct it electronically. However, if there’s possible fraud or identity theft, or if your dependent was claimed on someone else’s tax return, you’ll need to mail your return.
  1. Check for Acceptance: Finally, you will need to check to see if the IRS has accepted your tax return. You can do this within a few days of resubmitting your return.

Tips to Avoid a Rejected Tax Return

  • Double-check all personal information.

Ensure that all personal information, such as your name, social security number, and address, matches your previous year’s tax return and social security card. If your name was changed due to marriage or divorce, request changes to the Social Security Administration. Remember that your tax return must match the name on the record with the SSA, so it’s essential to update your information accordingly.

  • Be mindful of typos and spelling errors.

Review your tax return thoroughly and check for typos and spelling errors that could result in rejection.

  • Use correct figures.

Ensure that all numbers, such as your income, expenses, and deductions, are accurate and match your supporting documents, such as W-2s, 1099s, and receipts.

  • Don’t forget to sign.

Double-check that you have signed and dated your tax return. If you are filing jointly, make sure your spouse has also signed.

  • E-file your return.

E-filing can reduce the likelihood of errors and provide faster processing times than paper filing your return. Most e-filing software has built-in error checking that detects common mistakes. This includes incorrect math calculations or missing social security numbers before you submit your return. Thus, decreasing the chances of the IRS rejecting your tax return. Additionally, e-filing is a faster and more secure method of submitting your return. Meaning the IRS receives it more quickly and is less likely to lose or delay it.

Consider Hiring a Professional

If you’re unsure how to file your tax return, consider hiring a tax professional, like Tax Samaritan, for assistance. Tax professionals are knowledgeable in tax laws and regulations. They stay up-to-date with any changes that may affect your tax return. This means they are less likely to make mistakes or overlook important details that could lead to a rejected return. In addition, tax professionals can help you identify deductions and credits that you may not be aware of, thereby reducing your tax liability and increasing your refund.

All About Randall Brody
Randall is the Founder of Tax Samaritan, a boutique firm specializing in the preparation of taxes and the resolution of tax problems for Americans living abroad, as well as the other unique tax issues that apply to taxpayers. Here, they help taxpayers save money on their tax returns.

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