TULSA - The slightest misstep on your tax return can cause everything from a delay in getting your refund to an audit.
Aaron Quinton is handy at handling cash, and dough, in the form of bagels at Old School Bagel Shop in Midtown Tulsa.
When it comes to handling his tax return though Quinton says, "No, actually the wife does that."
Aaron was happy to hand over that chore after he made one of the most common mistakes taxpayers make each year, "A signature is probably one of the main reasons people, it kicks back. I remember that happened to me two or three years ago, I didn't sign one of the documents."
The devil is in the smallest details according to IRS spokesperson David Stell.
"The most common error that we see is social security numbers either incorrect or missing. And that is the one error that will cause the absolute stoppage of the processing of your tax return," Stell said.
Back at the bagel shop Ben Crittenden knows the formula for making the perfect salad but he chooses to have a professional prepare his taxes to avoid costly mistakes. "I think people kind of rush through it, try and decide how much they're going to make on their refund and so they don't really try and take their time to go through each step and really look through it."
Also among the top five mistakes that cause the IRS to kick returns back: Forgetting to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and collecting the wrong amount of tax from tables in the instruction booklet.
Another common problem points up why you need to check and double check according to Stell "Multiplication, division, subtraction, addition. Just basic math errors on the tax return, a paper tax return."
So how does the IRS catch all these mistakes?
"Every single tax return we receive we put through a computer screening process," said Stell. "Once past the computer screening of the tax return the potential exists for another level of screening by human beings."
Stell offers the best aid to filing a flawless return; and for most of us it's free.
Electronic tax filing will eliminate math errors, the failure to include forms that you might have to include, it will also check and make sure you're eligible for credits and claim them when you are eligible for them."
Click here to access the IRS Free File to file federal taxes for free.
Click here to access the checklist from the IRS to be sure your filings are flawless.
The IRS also offers free tax return preparation to people who earn $50,000 or less through it's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). Click here to access information about VITA.
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