Taxes aren’t easy. It’s for this exact reason that most people employ a tax professional or use an online tax program to help them figure out and pay their taxes each year. But, what happens if that online tax program makes a mistake? The IRS is aware that mistakes happen, especially with something as complex as tax returns. Because of this, they usually allow a small percentage of mistakes to be amended by simply filling out an amended tax form. But, if the mistake is so large that it requires you to owe the IRS a significant amount of money, the IRS is less likely to forgive. A mistake of this magnitude can lead to an audit, a large sum owed, or prolonged trouble with the IRS.
If you are using a program like Turbo Tax, it’s important that you not only take your time when entering in your data, but also review your tax form thoroughly before hitting “send.” Often, the mistakes that occur on these online programs can be traced back to something that we did ourselves, so it’s hard to place blame on the software. Another common mistake is people being unsure of what they can and can’t qualify for or deduct on their taxes. Often, online programs will allow you to deduct something that you aren’t, in fact, allowed to deduct. Unfortunately, it is likely that the IRS will notice this unqualified deduction and hit you with a bill for the full amount. This can be shocking, and while we trust these programs to know what we do and don’t qualify for, it is ultimately up to the tax payer to answer the questions correctly.
Because of this, it’s often a smarter move to speak with a tax professional in person about your taxes. If you have simple taxes, meaning you have one W-2, low debt, and not a lot of outside income, an online platform will usually work fine for you. But if your taxes are complicated in any way, a digital program may not be accurate or in depth enough for you to use. Consider all your options and do your research before deciding on the program or company you will use to file your taxes this year.
If you have complicated taxes or large debts, consider speaking with us at Levy & Associates. Our team of experienced tax professionals have worked with and, even in, the IRS before and will make sure that each section of your return is filled out correctly. For more information, call us at 1-800-TAX-LEVY or visit our website to learn more.