Filing a tax season hassle with mistakes

Filing a tax season hassle with mistakes

Tax season can be stressful for millions of hardworking American taxpayers and result in unforeseen errors that can make the filing process even more difficult than it needs to be.

The Internal Revenue Service has a deadline for millions of Americans to file their income tax returns on April 18. A combination of tax forms must have precise and accurate information.

Taxpayers who file their taxes with little help often make mistakes. The steps below will help you avoid these headaches during the tax season.

An involuntary mistake or error before you file your taxes will not lead to you facing years behind bars. Statistically, tens of millions of people file their taxes every year, and a certain portion makes a mistake. Individuals may face penalties for incorrect tax returns if the Internal Revenue Service doesn't have a specific penalty for involuntary mistakes.

If you falsify your tax returns or lying about the amount of income you have, you're facing a heavier penalty. People who commits fraud, tax evasion or other financial-related crimes can face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and spend years in prison as a convicted felon.

How do I avoid mistakes when filing taxes?

Some of the biggest mistakes taxpayers make when filing their annual returns is forgetting to sign or date the return, sending the tax return to the wrong IRS office, arranging tax forms in the wrong order or forgetting to add the correct forms to their file.

To avoid simple math mistakes or filing errors, paying for a virtual or in-person accountant will help alleviate some of the stress associated with the tax season. Individuals are allowed to pay online filing companies to help with their tax portfolio and to make sure they have all the necessary documentation for the IRS.

Most of the software can be accessed online and allow users to file electronically to prevent common mistakes by flagging errors, alerting taxpayers to missing information and correctly calculating all the math steps in the filing process. Some programs also claim credit and deductions for their users.

If you file your tax returns and realize that you made a mistake on April 18, there are avenues you can pursue to alert the IRS of the errors and revise them. The taxpayers must fill out Form 1040 - X, which allows them to make changes to the original Form 1040 regarding their individual tax returns.

In most cases, the IRS will allow taxpayers to amend their returns within a three-year period from when the tax return was originally filed, or two years after the taxes were paid. If you find out you made a mistake on your tax return, it is recommended that you act as early as possible to fix the errors and fill out the necessary paperwork.