What Causes a Tax Return to Be Rejected?

For electronic refunds, the name on the tax return and the deposit account match.

For electronic refunds, the name on the tax return and the deposit account match.

Once you file your annual tax return, the IRS can reject it if it contains conflicting information. If the IRS rejects your return, you are responsible for correcting the errors. Until the IRS accepts your return, your filing status is incomplete. Even though the process of preparing your return may seem intimidating and complicated, paying attention to the small details can make a difference. You are not required to file an amended return if your return is rejected. All you need to do is correct the return and resubmit it.

Social Security Numbers

Mismatched Social Security numbers are a common reason for a rejection of your tax return. The Social Security number you list on your return must match the number the IRS and the Social Security Administration have on file. Your last name must also correspond with the name that is in the SSA's records. The use of multiple or hyphenated last names might cause confusion if they are not on file. If you change your last name, make sure the SSA updates its records prior to filing your return.

Birth Dates

The birth dates that you list for yourself, a spouse and any dependents must match what is on file with the IRS. One of the most common reasons for a mismatch is a typing error. In some cases, the SSA or the IRS may have the wrong birth date in their files. You can have the SSA correct the birth date in question, but it may take up to 10 days. Once the records are updated and correct, you can resubmit your return electronically.

Adjusted Gross Income

Filing an electronic tax return requires both a personal identification number and verification of last year's adjusted gross income. Your PIN substitutes for your signature when you submit your return online. If you enter in the wrong PIN, the IRS will reject your return. You must also know the exact amount of your adjusted gross income from last year's return. If you enter in an incorrect amount, the IRS will require you to resubmit it.

Employer or Payer Identification Numbers

It's critical to check your W-2 or 1099 forms for the correct employer or payer identification numbers. The IRS will reject your tax return if the number does not match what is on your W-2 or 1099. Since each employer or payer reports the amounts you earned, this is how the IRS verifies that you are accurately recording your income. If you have multiple W-2 or 1099 forms, make sure to review each identification number closely. The IRS requires that you type the information from each W-2 or 1099 into a separate online form, if you choose to file electronically.

About the Author

Helen Akers specializes in business and technology topics. She has professional experience in business-to-business sales, technical support, and management. Akers holds a Master of Business Administration with a marketing concentration from Devry University's Keller Graduate School of Management and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images