Schedule M Errors in Making Work Pay Forms

In a trend that surprises no one, tax payers are making critical errors with a new tax form.

The Schedule M form is for anyone needing to account for the Making Work Pay credit or retirees who got the free $250 from the government last year. The Making Work Pay credit comes from the February 2009 stimulus package, which stated that working taxpayers can get up to a $400 benefit.

This benefit was automatically adjusted in the witholdings of most Americans’ paychecks; your “benefit” should’ve resulted in a slight increase in your take-home pay. If you’re a self-employed employee, however, you likely didn’t see a dime of it. You’ll need to file a schedule M, and there’ve been more than a few mistakes.

Apparently, lines 10 and 11 are tripping up filers. Seems to be some confusion with the yes/no check box telling the IRS if you received the check, then the following line to put in the total amount received.

The solution is pretty simple:

  • If you check “yes, I received a check,” then you must put in the amount received in the correct line.
  • If you check “no, I didn’t receive the check,” then for goodness sakes, don’t put an amount in the line.

Both errors get your return shipped to the Error Resolution System, where it’ll languish waiting for someone to realize it was a simple mistake. This can add weeks to your return. Double-check your return and consider using an electronic filing system, as those flag errors in your filing. A misplaced checkmark or an extra “0” where there shouldn’t be can mean the difference between a prompt, juicy tax check and hours on the phone with an IRS representative. Ouch.

Question? Call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.

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