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Its critical to have a plan to maximize the benefits

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there's money left, pay down debt. It's critical to have a plan to maximize the benefits from a refund, said Ernie Almonte, On the debt side, focus on credit cards charging the highest interest rate, the group suggests. As for emergency cash, three months used to be the suggested standard. But because it's still hard to find well- paying jobs, it would be more prudent to build up a reserve of at least six months. Add it all up, then check it twice . The IRS recently reported that it spotted 2.7 million math errors on 2011 returns, more than double the number from the prior year. If you don't want to get a letter from the agency, emphasize accuracy when preparing your return. The biggest math mistakes involved inaccurate tax calculations, followed by an incorrect number or dollar amount of exemptions. Then came errors involving the Earned Income Tax Credit, followed by those for standard or itemized deductions, the Child Tax Credit and the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. While you're at it, make sure you spell your name and those of your spouse and dependents correctly, and verify that everyone's Social Security number is accurate. Know your audit odds . There is safety in numbers around tax time, with the IRS auditing 1.03% of individual returns in the most recent year. While that's a low proportion, certain activities and behaviors can put you at greater risk. High income is one factor. Only 0.9% of people with income of less than $200,000 faced an audit in 2011, but 12.1% of those earning at least $1 million did. Certain business categories also face heightened IRS scrutiny, including "flow-through entities" such as partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations, as do self-employed
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