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An important consideration you need to make prior to submitting your paper income tax return is the order of the applicable form attachments. What does that mean?
Look on your 1040. Each line will have a specific purpose. On some of these lines the figure you put there will be taken from another IRS tax form. For instance, your wages and salary line will contain the figure from your W-2 IRS tax form. Keep reading further down your Form 1040 (plus 1040A and 1040EZ). You will see a variety of lines containing further requested information.
When you are putting your income tax return together (collating it), it is important to put those IRS tax forms in order. You need to attach them to your Form 1040 tax return in the same order that they are listed on your 1040.
Why is this important? First of all, it will save the IRS processing time. If your IRS tax forms are in order, the IRS will simply be able to flip through them to double check your figures. If they are not in order, the IRS person will have to find out which form applies to which line.
You may be assessed a penalty if your 2006 income tax return (or any tax year for that matter) is not properly ‘put together'. If your information appears as if you have not given it any thought, it may be considered a frivolous return. There are hefty penalties for this.
If you have your income tax return prepared by a tax professional, this is one area you will not need to concern yourself with, usually. Tax preparers are specially trained to follow this procedure of having all the attachments in form order. However, they do make mistakes. After all, tax preparers are human beings, you know.
You are ultimately responsible for your income tax return, regardless of if you have someone else prepare it or you do it yourself. Therefore, to be safe, double check everything prior to having your tax return submitted to the IRS. A competent tax preparer will give you this opportunity.