Taxes from A to Z: X is for 1040-X

We all make mistakes. And occasionally, those mistakes happen to involve a federal income tax return. For just those occasions, the IRS has created the federal form 1040-X (downloads as a pdf). The form 1040-X is surprisingly short: a mere two pages long. That’s because it’s not meant to be a new return, just an improved one. In other words, the IRS wants you to use the form 1040-X just to correct your errors. Do not file another “original” return since that will just confuse the IRS and will delay processing of your return (and your refund if you’re entitled …

Fearing the Taxman: When Not To Be Scared

Tax issues causes some folks to act in an irrational manner. True, the taxman shouldn’t be ignored. But feared? Nah. Here’s my list of the top five things that taxpayers are irrationally afraid of – and shouldn’t be: 1, Being aggressive when it comes to deductions. You’re entitled to take deductions. C’mon, say it with me now: You’re entitled to take deductions. Taxpayers often fear that excessive deductions will raise eyebrows at the Service. That’s not true unless we’re talking really excessive as compared to your level of income – and even then, if you have the documentation to prove …

9 Ways to Get Your Tax Return Noticed by the IRS (and that’s not a good thing)

1. Don’t check your math. While most people use software these days, some taxpayers still do their forms 1040 (and 1040-EZ) by hand and math errors are the top mistake that taxpayers make. What you might not know is that the IRS has a staff of “checkers” who basically doublecheck your math. If your numbers don’t add up, your return gets pulled. 2. Omit your Social Security number (or those of your dependents). You must have a valid Social Security number (or other valid tax ID number) in order to claim yourself or your dependents on your return. 3. Use …