Understanding Tax Return Rejections: Causes and Solutions

The prospect of having your tax return rejected can be daunting, but it’s crucial to understand that it’s a common occurrence with simple solutions. This comprehensive guide will delve into the reasons why tax returns are rejected, providing practical steps to rectify the issues and ensure a smooth filing process.

Common Causes of Tax Return Rejections

1. Mismatched Information:

One of the most prevalent reasons for tax return rejections is discrepancies between the information provided on the return and the records held by the IRS or Social Security Administration (SSA). This can include errors in:

  • Name: Ensure that the name on your tax return exactly matches the name on your Social Security card.
  • Social Security Number (SSN): Verify that the SSN provided on the return is correct and belongs to the taxpayer filing the return.
  • Address: Confirm that the address on the return is current and matches the address on file with the IRS.

2. Missing or Incorrect Forms:

Another common cause of rejections is the absence of required forms or the inclusion of incorrect forms. Double-check that you have attached all necessary forms, such as:

  • W-2s: Ensure that you have included a W-2 form for each employer from whom you received income during the tax year.
  • 1099s: If you received income from sources other than employment, such as self-employment or investments, make sure to include the appropriate 1099 forms.
  • Schedules: If your tax situation requires additional schedules, such as Schedule A for itemized deductions or Schedule C for self-employment income, ensure that they are included with your return.

3. Mathematical Errors:

The IRS employs automated systems to process tax returns, and any mathematical errors can trigger a rejection. Carefully review your return for any errors in calculations, such as:

  • Addition and subtraction: Ensure that all calculations are accurate, particularly when adding up income, deductions, and credits.
  • Tax calculations: Verify that the tax calculations are correct based on your taxable income and filing status.

4. Identity Theft:

In cases where there is a suspicion of identity theft, the IRS may reject your tax return to protect your personal information. If you suspect that your identity has been compromised, contact the IRS immediately to report the incident.

Steps to Take if Your Tax Return is Rejected

1. Review the Rejection Notice:

The IRS will provide a rejection notice explaining the reason for the rejection. Carefully review the notice to identify the specific error that needs to be corrected.

2. Correct the Errors:

Once you have identified the errors, make the necessary corrections to your tax return. If you are unsure how to correct the error, consult a tax professional or refer to the IRS website for guidance.

3. Resubmit Your Return:

After correcting the errors, resubmit your tax return to the IRS. You can do this electronically or by mail. If you are resubmitting electronically, ensure that you use the most up-to-date version of your tax software.

4. Contact the IRS:

If you have any questions or concerns about the rejection of your tax return, you can contact the IRS by phone or mail. The IRS website provides contact information for various IRS offices.

Tax return rejections are not uncommon, but they can be easily resolved by identifying and correcting the underlying errors. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your tax return is accepted by the IRS and processed smoothly. Remember to carefully review your return for any errors, including mismatched information, missing forms, mathematical errors, and potential identity theft. If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance or contact the IRS for guidance.

What To Do If Your Tax Return Is Rejected By the IRS – TurboTax Tax Tip Video


Why would a tax return get rejected?

If your tax return was rejected, it could be due to a number of reasons – such as missing information. However, there could be another issue, like a name or number that doesn’t match up with the data the IRS already has on file.

Are tax returns ever not accepted?

Avoid any last-minute stress. Prepare, e-File, and print your tax return right away. You haven’t filed if the IRS rejects your return. If your return is rejected, you must correct any errors and resubmit your return as soon as possible.

How long does it take the IRS to approve your refund?

(updated December 22, 2023) We issue most refunds in less than 21 calendar days. However, if you mailed your return and expect a refund, it could take four weeks or more to process your return.

Can I decline my tax refund?

No. You can’t cancel the return after it has been e-filed. If you need to change any information in the return, you can only make changes to your return if the IRS rejects it. If the IRS accepts your return, you must use Form 1040-X to file an amended return to fix the mistake.

What if my tax return is rejected?

If your return is rejected, you must correct any errors and resubmit your return as soon as possible. If your return is rejected at the end of the filing season, you have 5 days to correct any errors and resubmit your return. [email protected], indicating whether the IRS accepted or rejected your federal return.

Can a paper copy of a tax return be rejected?

When you mail a paper copy of your tax return, the IRS reject codes aren’t applicable. And although the IRS won’t technically reject your return because of some missing or incorrect information, the return won’t be considered as filed until it’s corrected.

Can I resubmit a tax return if my return is rejected?

Keep in mind that in many cases, you can resubmit an electronic return if your return is rejected. But in some cases, you may need to file a resubmitted return by mail. The IRS will generally offer guidance in that regard. But keep in mind that if you need to submit your corrected return by mail, it will most likely delay your refund.

Will the IRS reject my tax return if I’m missing information?

And although the IRS won’t technically reject your return because of some missing or incorrect information, the return won’t be considered as filed until it’s corrected. The IRS can automatically make corrections for math errors, but for other mistakes, you may receive a notice in the mail requesting the missing information.

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