Common Tax Mistakes and Helpful Tips for Making the Tax E-Filing Process Smoother

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Online tax filing season starts on January 11, 2008.

E-filing is less expensive and provides greater accuracy for the self-filer because the software will correct or highlight mistakes

As an overall category, self-prepared online tax returns totaled 24 million of the 80 million e-files submitted in tax-year 2006. And with that growth comes an increased likelihood of errors made by filers that can either delay the receipt of much-needed tax refunds or worse: attract unwanted attention from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to J. Gregg Rollins, president and chief executive officer of, a three-year old, IRS authorized e-filing provider, the most common tax e-filing mistakes are surprising in nature. "They include entering the wrong Social Security Number and date-of-birth for the filer and his dependents," he notes. Another error is submitting the wrong last name for the filer, his spouse or their children. Not entering the bank routing and bank account number is also another frequent mistake made by e-filers. "You won't get your refund if that happens," warns Rollins.

To avoid mistakes, Rollins offers a simple solution: read the instructions. "Most people rush through the process," he says. "Take a few minutes to carefully read all of the directions. It will be time well-spent."

With the online tax filing season set to officially start on January 11, Rollins offers these other tips to help ensure a smoother, less worrisome experience:

  • Determine which tax forms you need before selecting as service. Not all e-file providers provide the forms that a taxpayer may need to accurately complete his return.
  • Security. Make sure that the online e-filing service provides third-party verification. Multiple security systems mean additional layers of security protection for the user.
  • Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. What's worse than an IRS audit? Going it alone. Choose an e-filing provider that offers support.'s Audit Assistance Program will hire and pay for a certified public accountant to represent the filer in the event of an audit.

"E-filing is less expensive and provides greater accuracy for the self-filer because the software will correct or highlight mistakes," says Rollins. "When done right, e-filing makes the tax season a lot less stressful and gets the user his or her tax refund much faster than traditional means."

As one of the most popular online tax filing companies, serves multiple purposes: it enables e-filers to prepare, submit and monitor their federal and state return's progress. It also transmits their direct deposit information to receive a tax refund. Users can make online payments through direct debit. All information is protected by a variety of security services including the TRUSTe Privacy Program, ScanAlertâ„¢ Hacker Safe and a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption certificate.

Federal tax returns can be e-filed using for free if the state tax return is filed, at a cost of $9.99. Taxpayers may also take advantage of filing federal tax returns for free if they use the Electronic Refund Deposit option, which is available at an additional fee. This is used by those who do not have a credit or debit card or who chose not to use either. Otherwise, the fee for e-filing federal returns is $7.77. offers customer service at no charge to registered users.

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