Completing and Filing the Return

The final step in tax return preparation is finalizing and filing the return.

Before the return is signed, tax preparers should verify that it is complete and accurate.

Additional rules apply to e-filed returns. Tax preparers who e-file must ensure that the return is properly submitted to the IRS after the return has been signed. Tax preparers must retain certain records and follow up with taxpayers and the IRS if an e-filed return is rejected.

Completing the Return

Check the Return for Completeness and Accuracy

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TIP: Cross-check entries against information provided on the taxpayer's W-2s, 1099s, K-1s, and other information returns. Make sure that numbers have not been transposed or otherwise entered erroneously.

As the tax return preparer, you must take steps to make sure that the return you have prepared for a taxpayer is accurate and complete. Verify all of the key data on the return, including:

  • Taxpayer names, taxpayer identification numbers, and dates of birth
  • All numbers entered on the return

Also check that all required forms and schedules have been completed and computed correctly. Review question boxes on forms and schedules (such as the question boxes on Schedule B of Form 1040, Interest and Ordinary Dividends) to make sure they have been answered.

Explain and Review the Tax Return

Taxpayers should review the return for ...

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