Rushing to Beat the April 17 Tax Deadline? Illinois CPA Society Says Double-Check Your Work to Avoid Costly Mistakes
CHICAGO, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Even with two extra days this year, you may be behind on filing your taxes. With the April 17 deadline fast approaching, it's even more important to take the time to double-check your work. The Illinois CPA Society suggests reviewing these areas for common errors that could cause you problems later:
1.What's Your Name? Of course you know your name, but does it match your Social Security card? Your return could bounce back or your refund may be delayed if they don't match. For women there can be confusion on the use of married and maiden names. Don't forget a hyphen if you use one and also be sure dependents' and spouse's names are shown correctly.
2. Check Your Numbers. Verify that you've put the right numbers in the right places and that your math is correct. Also verify your Social Security number and be sure that you haven't transposed any digits.
3. Sign on the Dotted Line. Once you've completed all the work, make sure you remember to either physically sign the paper form or include an electronic signature on your e-file document. If you're filing jointly, both parties must sign the return.
Beyond the basics, there a few technical items you should watch out for, including:
4. Corrected 1099s. Did you receive one? If you've already filed your return or are just about ready to, you may need to amend or restate your return should you receive a corrected 1099. Be sure to read the fine print in your brokerage statements – it may indicate that a corrected 1099 may be sent to you at a later date.
5. Records & Receipts. Be ready to prove any charitable donations you're taking as deductions with records, receipts, credit card statements and even an appraisal of a donated item.
6. Sales of Stock Changes. This year, the IRS gave the gain/loss reporting form Schedule D a whole new look and a new supporting form – Form 8949 to report gains and losses. Be sure that you've included the correct forms.
Remember you can e-file your return 24-hours a day, any day of the week. E-filing can help you avoid some common mistakes since the program automatically checks that Social Security numbers and names match, and corrects simple math errors. You also avoid any input mistakes that the IRS may make when processing a paper return.
If you're not going to be able to file by the deadline, you can get a six-month extension by using Form 4868 from the IRS website, www.irs.gov. Remember, it's not an extension of the time to pay taxes owed. You still need to estimate what you might owe and pay any taxes due by the April 17 deadline, as well as continue to make your estimated 2012 payments if you file estimated taxes, but it does give you extra time to complete the paperwork.
Any CPA can help you navigate all your tax filing questions. Visit the Illinois CPA Society site – www.icpas.org – for more information and to find a CPA in your area using the "Find a CPA" Directory. If you've already filed this year, remember that it's not too early to start planning for next tax season!
About the Illinois CPA Society
The Illinois CPA Society, founded in 1903, is the fourth largest state CPA Society in the nation, with more than 24,000 members. It is the premier professional organization that represents CPAs in Illinois. During its over 100 years of existence, the Society has advanced the highest ethical and financial standards of the profession, and has been a leader in educating the public on financial issues.
SOURCE Illinois CPA Society