Jackson Hewitt® Reminds Last Minute Filers of the Top Five Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

Filing an Extension May Provide More Time to File - But Not to Pay

PARSIPPANY, N.J., April 3, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- With just about two weeks left until the April 17 deadline, it is getting down to crunch time for taxpayers who have yet to file their 2011 tax returns. As Tax Day approaches, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® is reminding last minute filers of the most common mistakes to avoid when filing their tax returns, as well as what they need to know about filing a six-month extension.

"Each year, there are many who wait until the final days to file their taxes," said Mark Steber, chief tax officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "With the last minute rush, it is important to carefully check your tax return prior to filing because even the simplest of mistakes can cause delays in the issuance of a refund."

Steber discusses the top five most common mistakes made when filing a return:

  1. Incorrect Filing Status – Choosing a filing status is usually one of the first steps when preparing a tax return, but it can also be a confusing decision that leads many to choose an incorrect status. The wrong filing status can significantly impact the amount of a tax refund or tax liability, so speaking with a knowledgeable local tax preparer about your situation can help guide you in selecting the correct status;
  2. Providing Incorrect Information – Another common mistake is when taxpayers misspell a name or incorrectly record their Social Security numbers. It is vital to clearly record the correct name, Social Security number and address (including zip code) directly on the return. Names and Social Security numbers for a spouse, dependents and qualifying children should be documented exactly as they appear on their respective Social Security cards. For those who changed their name due to getting married or divorced, or for any other reason, make sure the name used on the return is your legal name;
  3. Mathematical Errors –Another error on tax returns is bad math, which remains common on paper returns. Making mathematical miscalculations can greatly impact your tax return by reducing your expected refund or positioning you to owe more money than you actually do;
  4. Claiming Ineligible Exemptions –With so many complex rules, taxpayers often claim exemptions for which they are not eligible. Some examples include claiming a grown child who no longer qualifies as a dependent or claiming an exemption for a live-in significant other. A local tax preparer can help you properly claim eligible exemptions; and,
  5. Forgetting to Claim Items –In the rush to file, forgetting to claim certain items is a mistake that is made all too often. For example, certain charitable contributions, medical expenses and IRA contributions can all be claimed on a return, if you have the proper documentation.

"For those who need more time to file, filing a six-month extension may be an option," says Steber. "But keep in mind that while you can postpone filing your return until October 15, 2012, filing an extension does not provide additional time to pay. You must pay any taxes owed by April 17, 2012. Otherwise, you may be subject to penalty and interest charges."

To learn more about common mistakes when filing, please visit www.jacksonhewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040 to find a local Jackson Hewitt office.

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Based in Parsippany, NJ, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an industry-leading provider of full service individual federal and state income tax preparation, with nearly 6,500 franchised and company-owned locations throughout the United States, including 2,800 located in Walmart stores nationwide. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service®also offers an online tax preparation product at www.jacksonhewittonline.com. For more information, or to locate your neighborhood Jackson Hewitt® office, visit www.jacksonhewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040. Jackson Hewitt can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Contacts:

David G. Weselcouch
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
(973) 630-0809
david.weselcouch@jtax.com 

Melissa Connerton
CooperKatz & Company
(917) 595-3039
mconnerton@cooperkatz.com    

SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

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