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Gathering forms, receipts, and other paperwork to complete your tax return is only half the battle. Once you've finished your return, it is equally important to double-check your forms, figures, information, and packaging procedures.

Please review your return and envelope for misprinted, overlooked, or miscalculated information. Any mistake can cause processing delays that may hold up your refund.

The tips below can serve as your checklist to prevent mistakes on your tax return. And make sure you have enough postage and your complete return address on the IRS envelope to avoid mailing delays.

Remember any delay could cause you notices, penalties, and interest charges.

Important Parts of Your Return

* Age/Blindness Box Checked?-If you are age 65 or older or blind, or your spouse is age 65 or older or blind, make sure you check the appropriate box(es) on Form 1040 or Form 1040A.

* Earned Income Credit Claimed, Figured Correctly--This is a special tax credit that can help some people who work and have incomes below a certain level. For more information on whether you qualify and how to figure the credit, get Publication 596, Earned Income Credit, or Publication 596, Criditopor Ingreso del Trabajo (Spanish version).

* Federal Income Tax With held, Not Social Security Tax, Entered On The Return?--Form W-2 shows both the federal income tax and FICA (social security tax) withheld. Remember to use the amount for federal income tax on your return to calculate your total income tax withheld.

* Entry For Standard Deduction Amount Correct?--If you do not itemize deductions, use the correct standard deduction chart to find the right amount.

* Refund Or Balance Due Correct?--Check your addition and subtraction. If your total payments are more than your total tax, you are due a refund. A balance due is figured when your taxes due are more than the amount you have already paid.

* Tax From Tax Tables Entered Correctly?--First, take the amount shown on the taxable income line of your Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ and find the line in the tax table showing that amount. Next, find the column for your marital status (married filing jointly, single, etc.) and read down the column. The amount shown where the income line and filing status column meet is your tax.

Important Double Checks on Your Return Before Mailing

* Check for math errors.

* Attach Copy B of all Forms W-2.

* Attach all required forms and related schedules.

* Place preprinted address label on your return and make any necessary changes on it.

* Sign and date your return (both husband and wife must sign a joint return).

* If you owe tax, include your check or money order payable to "Internal Revenue Service," not the "IRS." You must write your social security number, daytime telephone number, tax form number, and tax year on your check or money order.

* Make a copy of the return for your records.

Important Mailing Procedures

* Use preprinted envelope that came in the tax package to mail your return.If you do not have one, address an envelope to the Internal Revenue Service Center for your state.

* Write your complete return address on the envelope

* Attach the correct postage
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excerpted from material prepared by the IRS - 1994

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