Tax Guide

Get answers to all your questions about taxes, personal finance, insurance and more.

Why You Shouldn’t Enter Data Twice

Here at 1040.com, we’ve designed our forms for so that you can fill them out quickly and easily. But taxes being what they are, sometimes it can get confusing to figure out just where is the right place to enter certain information. In fact, it’s sometimes fairly easy to accidentally double-enter information. So, in order to keep your tax return rolling right along, here are a few tips to avoid double-entering data or duplicating your deductions.

Taxes You Paid

On the Taxes You Paid screen, which is part of Schedule A, there are a few opportunities to duplicate your entries. Line 5, for example, is for any state and local taxes that are not entered on a W-2 screen or on an Estimated Taxes screen. Both of those forms flow to Schedule A, so an entry here would double the amount. Also note that the box on line 5 has a blue border, which means it’s an adjustment field; any number you enter here will be added to or subtracted from what’s already entered elsewhere.

The same caution applies for line 6 on the Taxes You Paid screen, where you enter real estate taxes you paid. If you’ve entered amounts on a Form 1098 screen, don’t enter them here too. This is an adjustment field as well.

If you have personal property taxes entered on a Form 2106, Form 8829 or a Schedule E, you won’t need line 7 on this form, which is for personal property taxes. That’s because all of those forms flow to Schedule A.

Interest You Paid

Another one of the Schedule A screens, the Interest You Paid screen, uses only the figures you haven't already used. While it might make sense to enter your home mortgage interest here and on Form 1098, if the interest is already on a 1098, don’t double it by putting it on the Interest You Paid screen.

On the other hand, this is the form to use if you did not receive a Form 1098 for your home mortgage interest.

Overstating the State

Another area to watch out for double-entering might arise when you’re entering income for a state tax return. If your income was reported to you on a W-2, check the state and local amounts sections, lines 15–18. If this section has state income figures posted here, do not post them on another state form. That’s because 1040.com knows to take these numbers and push them to your state return. If your income was from self-employment, however, and does not show up on a W-2, you might need to report the state amount on the state’s forms.

What’s the Big Deal?

So, why worry if you have duplicate figures on different forms? The biggest reason is that your return will most likely be rejected by the IRS until the oversight is corrected.

Our software will tell you – before you e-file – if you have duplicate entries on different forms and will give you the opportunity to set things straight. Even if a double entry gets through, though, you can correct and resend your return.