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Tiny mistakes can cause delays in getting your tax refund

If you doublecheck your tax return, you won't

If you doublecheck your tax return, you won't have to wait a second longer than necessary for your refund. Credit: IStock

Sometimes you should sweat the small stuff, especially when it comes to your tax return.

A tiny mistake can keep you waiting a bit longer for that much anticipated refund.

Here’s what you should check and double-check.

  • Don’t forget your John Hancock: What’s a big mistake people surprisingly make? “Not signing the efile forms, signing in the wrong spot, or missing a spouse’s signature,” says Kenneth Rick, a CPA and partner at Janover LLC in Garden City.
  • Review the numbers: It’s easy to transpose or write the wrong Social Security number for yourself or dependents. “The IRS has instituted fraud prevention measures to reject or delay returns that have Social Security numbers that differ from their files. That’s why it is incredibly important the information provided on a return is accurate. Double- or triple-check the numbers before filing,” says ReKeithen Miller, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Atlanta.
  • Be careful with bank information: Don’t enter incorrect routing and account numbers, warns Patrick Colabella, an accounting professor at St. John’s University in Queens. When the bank rejects the deposit, it goes back to the IRS. One week goes by, then the IRS will issue a paper check and send snail mail — more lost time.
  • Have complete documentation: “Missing taxable data that was sent to the IRS directly from a source, such as a 1099R that you or your preparer didn’t compute on the return, will cause delays,” says Joel Russo, president of Premier Financial Group in Wall, New Jersey. Filing late, paper and amended returns (which can only be paper filed) will also most likely cause delays.

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