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How to Deal with Mistakes on Your Tax Return

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People make mistakes all the time on their tax returns—it happens. Maybe you already sent off that return, but completely forgot to include income from a side job you did. Perhaps you forgot to claim a dependent, or weren’t aware of certain deductions you qualify for.

Whatever the mistake may be, there are ways to fix it. The best thing to do is not wait too long to fix the mistake. Tax issues have a nasty habit of getting worse over time—they aren’t wine, folks.

The sooner you address the issue, the less likely you will be to deal with further headaches involving the IRS, such as threatening letters, an audit, or penalties and interest charges.

Ways to Deal with Mistakes on Your Tax Return

The following are some pointers that could help you to understand what steps to take if you’ve made a mistake on your tax return.

Tax Return Mistakes before the Tax Deadline

If you made a mistake on your return, but the due date for filing the return hasn’t passed yet, you can simply file a new return—no harm done. You won’t have to worry about penalties and interest because you aren’t late on filing your return.

Tax Return Mistakes after the Tax Deadline Has Passed

If you realize you made a mistake on your return, but the due date for filing has passed, then you will have to file an amended return. You will be subject to penalties and interest charges if it turns out that you owe money, unless you can convince the IRS to remove the penalties and interest charges because you have good cause.

The IRS Sent You a Notice

Say that the IRS sends you a notice saying that there was a mistake on your return. First, never ignore a notice from the IRS. You must respond. If you agree that you did make a mistake, follow the directions given to you. You might need to send in a payment if it turns out you owe them money.

If you don’t agree with the IRS regarding the mistake, you will need to respond in writing within the time frame indicated on the notice. You might need to go to tax court if further disagreement continues.

You’re Being Audited

If the IRS is auditing you, they will first contact you by mail. They will give you detailed information on what to expect. Some audits are conducted by mail; others will be conducted in person, at either your home or office or at an IRS office. If you’re being audited, keep in mind that the IRS’s main goal is to ensure that your return is correct.

Get Help with Fixing Mistakes on Your Tax Return

If you’ve made a mistake and you need help getting your tax situation corrected, or if you need help with another tax matter, reach out to a tax attorney at our nationwide office. The W Tax Group has a tax specialist ready to talk to you for free during a tax debt review. Simply dial 877-500-4930, or fill out the debt analysis form below.