|Even though more and more taxpayers are filing their returns electronically each year, there are still millions of individuals who elect to file paper returns. You complete the appropriate forms, include any required attachments, stuff the whole package into an envelope, and march down to the local post office to complete the process.
The Internal Revenue Service offers the following precautionary hints to help prevent paper filers from making mistakes that could delay a refund or result in avoidable correspondence with the IRS.
- Make sure that you and your spouse, if the return is a joint one, sign and date the tax return. The IRS does not consider the return a valid one unless this simple requirement is satisfied.
- Provide the IRS with a daytime telephone number. Real people working for the IRS are processing tax returns, and if they have any questions about items on your return, they may be able to easily resolve some issues if they can contact you immediately.
- Attach all required schedules and forms in the proper order behind your Form 1040 or Form 1040A. There is an attachment sequence number in the upper right hand corner of the schedule or the form. If you are including any supporting statements, arrange them in the same order as the schedule or form that they support and attached them last.
- Attach a copy of Forms W-2, W-2G, and 2439 to the front of your tax return. If any tax was withheld, also attach a copy of Form 1099-R.
- Use the peel-off label with your name and address from the back of your tax package and place in the appropriate area of your tax return. Make any necessary name and address changes right on that label, including the addition of an apartment number. If you do not have a label, print or type the information in the appropriate spaces.
- Use the coded envelope that you received with your tax package. IF you do not have that envelope, look up the proper IRS center and address in your tax instruction booklet.
- Use enough postage.
- If you owe tax, you can pay by check, money order, or credit card. You should make out a check or money order to the United States Treasury and include your name, address, social security number, telephone number, and the tax year and form number. Do not attach the payment to the tax return. Instead, complete a payment voucher (Form 1040-V) and enclose it in the envelope with the return. The payment voucher helps the IRS to more accurately and efficiently process the tax return.
- The IRS allows payment by major credit cards. This type of payment is accomplished by calling or contacting via the Internet a listed service provider, who will charge a convenience fee based on the amount of the payment. The service provider will give you a confirmation number, which you must write on the upper left corner of your tax return along with the amount of the payment.
Copyright 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.