Put all required Social Security numbers on the return (they're not on the label)
Double-check your figures
Sign your form
Attach all required schedules
Send your return or request a filing extension by April 15
The numbers to check most carefully on the tax return are the identification numbers - usually Social Security numbers - for each person listed. This includes the taxpayer, spouse, dependents and persons listed in relation to claims for the Child Care or Earned Income Tax Credits. Missing, incorrect or illegible SSNs can delay or reduce a tax refund. Taxpayers should also check that they have correctly figured the refund or balance due and have used the right figure from the tax table.
Taxpayers must sign and date their returns. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even if only one had income. Anyone who is paid to prepare a return must also sign it.
The only attachments that should be on the front of the tax return are:
Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement,
Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings,
Form 1099-R, Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, Etc.,
Form 2439, Notice to Shareholder of Undistributed Long-Term Capital Gains, or
Form 9465, Installment Agreement Request.
All other required forms and schedules should be behind the Form 1040 or 1040A, in the attachment sequence order listed in the upper right of each page.
People expecting a refund should consider direct deposit of the refund to their bank account. Choosing direct deposit is the best way to guard against having a tax refund misplaced or stolen. A word of caution - some financial institutions do not allow a joint refund to be deposited into an individual account. Check with your bank or other financial institution to make sure your direct deposit will be accepted. Also, make sure you enter the correct nine-digit routing number for your financial institution and your correct account number when selecting direct deposit. Wrong numbers can cause your refund to be misdirected or delayed.
People sending a payment should make the check out to "United States Treasury" and should enclose it with, but not attach it to, the tax return or the Form 1040-V if used. The check should include the taxpayer's Social Security number, daytime phone number, the tax year and the type of form filed.