You've gathered all your records, filled out your paperwork and sent everything in on time. What's holding up your refund check? Chances are your return wasn't fully filled out. Maybe your Social Security number was incomplete or illegible. Perhaps you incorrectly filled out your routing information, so instead of having your refund check deposited directly into your bank account, the check was sent by mail. Although these mistakes are easily fixable, they happen a lot, and they can result in substantial delays in processing your return. And make sure to sign before you file. Mark Green, IRS spokesman for Georgia, says, "One of the main errors that we notice, and this is generally with people that wait toward the end to file, is that they forget to sign their returns."
These errors can be particularly costly if you have a tax liability, since the time required to fix the mistake can effectively push the filing date past April 15 (see mistake No. 10). A little diligence can ensure these types of mistakes don't happen to you. If you're filing by mail, make sure that you've filled in correctly and legibly all required information. If you're filing jointly, both individuals must sign the return. Better yet, file electronically, or e-file. According to Green, processing e-file returns costs the IRS 35 cents, compared to $2.87 to process a paper return. You'll be helping yourself, too. E-filing can result in quicker turnaround time for refunds. In addition, your tax software can catch a number of mistakes for you, including the next type on our list.