Most people don’t really look forward to filing their tax returns and paying their taxes. As it is, there really isn’t much to look forward to because it is a tedious process that can take weeks to complete. Some people even have the bad luck to raise the interest of the IRS. The trouble is, most of these people’s mistakes are not intentional. They just lack proper tax preparation, and in all probability, must have rushed through the filing process. Lack of preparation and attention to detail are the most common faults of people who often get flagged by the IRS. Let’s face it. Even if audits are not criminal in nature, they are embarrassing and distressing events people can do without.
Filing accurate tax returns and paying correct taxes are not impossible with the right preparation and a good headstart. A good headstart is important in filing because taxpayers get more lead time to organize and prepare the necessary documents. Even if there are lots of tax software available, it is a wise idea to allot a significant amount of time in reviewing past returns, current returns applications, and tax laws. Tax laws are dynamic; they can be changed or revised between the last tax season and the one coming up. There might be some important things in the revised policies that can affect your returns and deductions. Pleading ignorance of the new policies are not acceptable to the government and the IRS because everybody is presumed to know the law. Taxpayers are recommended to review their current applications especially if they’ve been audited before. According to the IRS, taxpayers repeating audited mistakes are not uncommon. Speaking of mistakes, “forgetting” additional income sources is the predominant mistake most people make. The IRS also compares issued forms against reported income on the returns for disparity. Still on the issue of disparity and comparison, returns are checked for names and SS numbers so they must mirror those in the SS records. Wrongly issued forms must be returned and reported to the issuer for corrections.
Wrong sums are also common mistakes due to rushing. Though tax software is usually thought of as a late taxpayer’s savior, early filers can use this software to check their computations. Tax charges can usually be avoided by printing correct sums on returns. Taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns even if their current financial situation makes them unable to pay their taxes. Installment payment is an option that IRS offers. Tax matters are sensitive and can be subjected to random auditing. It is advised that taxpayers keep and file their returns of six years at the very least for reference if ever they are called for auditing. Lastly, since the agency is the one who gets burdened by tax problems, the IRS is open to giving assistance to taxpayers. With proper preparation, filing tax returns can be an easy process.
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