Choosing to efile instead of preparing a paper tax form is the best step you can take to ensure that your return is accurate and complete. “The efile program’s question and answer format combined with the accuracy of its math calculations help to reduce common mistakes,” Sanford said.
If you file a paper return, the numbers to check most carefully on the tax return are the identification numbers — usually Social Security numbers — for each person listed. This includes the taxpayer, spouse, dependents and persons listed in relation to claims for the Child and Dependent Care Credit or Earned Income Tax Credit. Missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security numbers can delay or reduce a tax refund.
Taxpayers filing paper returns should also double-check that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table. It’s important to sign and date a tax return, too. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign it.