Tips for Filing Your 2016 Taxes


We are in the middle of the 2016 tax filing season when everyone is anxious to file their taxes in hopes of receiving a refund.

This article will provide you with simple pointers to ensure that you get your refund and not a tax audit by the Internal Revenue Service.

You must count unemployment benefits as income.

  1. Unemployment is Taxable. Include all unemployment compensation as income for the year. Taxpayers should receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, by Jan. 31. This form shows the amount received and the amount of any federal income tax withheld.
  2. Various types of Unemployment Compensation. Unemployment compensation includes amounts paid under federal law or state law as well as railroad, trade readjustment and airline deregulation laws. Even some forms of disability payments can count.
  3. Tax May be Withheld. Those who receive unemployment can choose to have federal tax withheld by using a Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request. Those choosing not to have tax withheld may need to make estimated tax payments during the year.

Common Errors to Avoid When Preparing Your Tax Return

If there are errors in your tax return, it may take longer for the IRS to process your return and this may delay your refund.

  • Missing or Inaccurate Social Security Numbers. Be sure to enter all Social Security Numbers exactly as they are printed on your Social Security card. This may seem simplistic, however, typing errors related to the SSNs are extremely important in the processing of your return. Take time to verify the SSNs to ensure accuracy.
  • Math Mistakes. Common math errors are far more common than you would believe. They range from simple addition and subtraction to more complex items. Take your time to do the math.
  • Misspelled Names. Ensure that all names listed on a tax return are spelled exactly as they are listed on that individual’s Social Security card.
  • Incorrect Bank Account Numbers. The IRS strongly urges all taxpayers who have a refund due to choose direct deposit. It’s easy and convenient.  Be careful to use the right routing and account numbers on the tax return. The fastest and safest way to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.
  •  Forms Not Signed. Your signature is required on your return. On page 2 of the Form 1040 in the SIGN HERE box, you MUST sign. Both spouses must sign a joint return.  Sign an e-filed tax return digitally before sending it to the IRS.

Tax audits are never easy nor fun. It takes patience, thoroughness, and attention to detail to deal with the IRS. Our firm has over 20 years’ experience handling tax audits. If you receive any correspondence from the IRS concerning your tax return, call the Parker Law Firm at 770-246-1331 or email us

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