Filing your taxes can be an incredibly stressful time: You’re scrambling to find all the correct documents, trying to navigate new changes such as buying a home or getting married, all while trying to get it all together before the deadline. Not to mention keeping track of the changing deadlines for State and Federal taxes due to the Coronavirus. So when you rush, mistakes happen.

So what do you do if you’ve made a mistake on a tax return? Whether it’s forgetting to sign a certain form, found an errant W9 after you filed, or entered a social security number incorrectly, fixing mistakes isn’t always difficult, but you do need to know where the errors occurred and then how to go about making it right. Consulting with a tax professional may ultimately save you both time and money.

Common Tax Mistakes

Two of the most common mistakes made when filing taxes include neglecting to include required information (like bank account routing numbers) or using the wrong filing status. For instance, if you’re married and file jointly, you cannot also mark yourself as a “head of household,” which applies only to single individuals with dependents. If you file electronically, the good news is that many of these errors will pop up as an alert, allowing the filer to correct the information before the submission is accepted by the IRS.

Penalty or No Penalty

What about tax liabilities or penalties with respect to mistakes on your taxes? Penalties apply to anyone who underpays the amount of taxes due. For instance, if you were found to have incorrectly claimed “head of household” and received a benefit from this, you will ultimately be responsible for the additional tax due in addition to a monthly penalty of 0.5% plus interest.

Can I Refile My Taxes After Finding a Mistake?

In some cases, the IRS may alert a filer and even correct the problem for them (e.g. in the case of minor math errors). Unfortunately, in other cases, corrections to mistakes on tax returns cannot be handled through electronic filing. Instead, you will need to file an amended return using IRS form 1040X and mail it in.

Be Smart - Hire a Tax Professional

If your tax filing amendment involves more than a single missing line or correcting a transposed number, take a moment and think about potential consequences beyond the payment due. Check with a tax professional first to minimize your tax liability.

If you've received a notice of tax audit, need to file back taxes, or face an IRS tax lien, trust in Tax Relief, Inc. to help. We’ve helped our individuals and small business clients deal with old taxes for nearly three decades, saving them time and money. Contact us today at 630-655-1040 or visit our website to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.