Five common mistakes that could delay your tax return

INDIANA – When 1+1 doesn’t add up to two, it can cause refund delays for you. In 2021, 101,553 Indiana Individual Income tax returns received by the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) were flagged for potential math errors. More than 200,000 tax returns required a DOR employee to manually correct tax credit information.

Incorrect information and calculation errors are just two of the common mistakes DOR customers make on their annual tax returns that delay processing and can end up delaying a refund. Correcting these errors sometimes requires a DOR employee to review the return and manually enter corrections or contact the taxpayer for more information.

Here are a few things to look for before you hit send or head to the mailbox:

  1. Calculation errors can range from bad math to putting the information on the wrong line. Another common mistake is transposing digits in Social Security numbers or using the wrong SSN for a dependent.
  2. Claiming credits incorrectly or not including the right documentation will also get your refund delayed because a DOR analyst will have to process it manually or place the return on hold until you can provide DOR with more information. This happens with tax returns filed electronically and on paper. Review your tax professional or tax software provider includes with your completed tax return to see if there are any forms or documents you need to mail to DOR.
  3. Last year, DOR received 13,500 duplicate tax returns. Unless DOR contacts you to request it, do not send DOR a copy of your tax return in the mail if you filed electronically. If you do, then DOR has to hold both returns for a more thorough review. If you are amending a tax return, make sure to check the appropriate box on the form to indicate that you previously filed a tax return for that year.
  4. DOR’s systems scan barcodes on forms and payment vouchers for faster processing. Last year, over 14,000 tax returns were filed on wrong or outdated forms. Make sure you use forms for the current tax year and do not block out any barcodes on forms or vouchers, especially those with your name on them.
  5. Don’t forget to sign your tax return. If you paper-file, you (and your spouse if filing jointly) need to sign where indicated on the back of the Form IT-40. Make sure your tax refund doesn’t get lost in the mail by choosing to have it deposited directly into your bank account. Double-check the routing and account numbers for your financial institution.

Check out DOR’s other tax tips on