Here is what to do before putting your tax return in the mail (or sending it online):

Double-check all Social Security numbers entered on all pages of your return.

An incorrect number will hold up your refund. If you changed your name during the year because of marriage or divorce, you should notify the Social Security Administration and receive a new Social Security card before filing a return with the new last name.

Sign your return in the proper place.

If you are filing a joint tax return with a spouse, both of you must sign. If your spouse passed away during the year, sign on the first line and write "Surviving Spouse" on the line for the spouse’s signature. Special rules apply if you are signing the return for a non-spouse deceased taxpayer or for someone else under a power of attorney.

Make sure the preparer signs the return.

If you paid a professional to prepare your returns, you’ll need his or her signature and the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

Attach Copy B of all Forms W-2, W-2G and 1099-R with federal income tax withheld.

Uncle Sam is very particular and wants Copy B and not Copy C or Copy 2. If you attach the wrong copy, the IRS may return the form to you.

Mail your return to the correct address.

The IRS often changes the mailing address for returns. The address is determined by your state of residence. It is listed in the instruction booklet or at the IRS website. If you have a balance due, you must use a payment voucher (1040-V), and mail your return to a lockbox instead of directly to the IRS.

Make your check payable to "United States Treasury Service."

If you owe money to Uncle Sam, the check should be made out to the Treasury and not to the Internal Revenue Service or IRS. Write your Social Security number and "2015 Form 1040" (or "2015 Form 1040A") on the check.

Make a copy of the return for your records.

Or, if you hired a preparer, be sure you get a copy from him or her.

Have the envelope weighed to be sure there is enough postage.

Also, include your full return address.
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