For the majority of Americans, tax season brings about a sense of urgency and feelings of stress. Once your tax return is completed, however, it can often feel like a relief. That is, unless a mistake has occurred. Finding a mistake on a tax return may leave you wondering what to do and where to turn next. Through The Wall Street Journal, a Massachusetts expert offered some advice recently on how to avoid a serious situation that could lead to an audit, fines and even charges of tax evasion.
The general consensus is that every error should be addressed. How severe the error is will determine whether or not an amended tax return should be filed immediately.
Experts agree that any error that changes the amount owed to the government should be amended immediately. However, if the error you find does not affect the amount of money you owe, it is not necessary to file amended forms.
If you have to file an amended form, it’s important to make sure you are filing the right ones. Many people who discover a tax error address the problem with a new federal form, but often forget to file an amended state tax form. This can lead to unwanted penalties from the state government.
Filing a tax return can be extremely confusing. Many people complete their own tax forms, so it can be easy to make an unintentional mistake. However, tax errors can result in potential tax evasion charges, fees and audits. If you have discovered a mistake in your tax returns, speaking with an experienced tax professional may be helpful in determining how to fix the problem and avoid penalty.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “If You Goofed on Your Taxes, Fix It. Now.” Arden Dale, 19 June 2011