Examine Your Tax Return (before you e-file or mail it!)

It’s that time of year. This past week, I reviewed one of our client’s tax returns and found an error. As I recommend, I did this examination before the client e-filed. I contacted the tax preparer and asked about a missing deductible expense that we had included with the financial information. The tax preparer agreed that they had missed it. And we had enough time for them to revise the return and to e-file on time. Last Fall, I examined the return of one of our non-profit clients and also discovered an error. Again, I contacted the tax preparer and they were able to revise the return before filing.

Check out our video tip: Examine Your Tax Return.

Here’s why we recommend you take the time to do this:

  • When you sign the return, you are declaring that you have examined it. Read the IRS text just above your signature.
  • If you find an error, there’s a chance it will increase your refund.
  • When you review your return, you may gain a better understanding of your tax calculations.

When you review, look for this:

  • Does it look like the correct tax return form? If you are a corporation and your tax preparer sent you a Schedule C with your corporate info, something is wrong.
  • Does your income agree to W2, 1099, your Income Statement, or other sources of income?
  • With an individual tax return, do you see all the deductions you expected?
  • With a business tax return, do your expenses agree to the detail you sent to your tax preparer?
  • Is the result what you expected? If not, review further or ask your tax prepare to explain.
  • At the end of the return, did your tax preparer calculate a penalty? If so, do you understand why?