As a tax filer, you spend a lot of time working on taxes trying to get everything right. Tax rules can be quite complicated, requiring outside assistance from a tax preparer or attorney. You may even need to consult family members or reach out to business associates to complete your taxes. After going through all those steps, if you submit a return to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and they make a mistake, you are likely to become frustrated. The IRS indeed makes millions of errors each year. Some of those errors may be in the tax bill you receive from the IRS, for example, a miscalculation in the amount you owe. A California tax attorney can help you work through these frustrating moments and take care of these mistakes without causing you more stress.
What type of tax bill mistakes can occur?
Several mistakes can occur as the IRS is generating your tax bill. If you notice any errors, you should contact the IRS immediately to inform them of the problem. Some of the mistakes include:
- Math errors – Believe it or not, the IRS can make math errors just like a tax filer. These errors may arise from incorrect interpretations of the tax data you submit or an incorrect interpretation of the tax code. Given that some calculations depend on subjective understandings of information, interpretations matter. Also, some tax files are so complicated that IRS staff may get lost in the details. Another recent concern is that if the staff is rushing to meeting productivity standards, they can make mistakes.
- Timing errors – The IRS has legal standards that it must meet regarding the various notices it sends to tax filers and how it responds to various submissions. Violations in those timing requirements can raise questions regarding the legality of the IRS's actions.
- Identity errors – The IRS can mix up the identity of tax filers and send information from someone else to you. While this is a rare event, you should carefully check the information sent to you by the IRS to make sure there are no identity problems.
The IRS Taxpayer Bill of Rights supports a tax filer's claims that the IRS made a mistake in its calculations, especially those regarding the amount of money due to the IRS. Errors can also be made in your favor – such as a higher refund than you anticipated. While these errors may not be of great concern to you, you should seek help to make sure they are not likely to harm you in the future.
How to respond to mistakes
Responding to IRS mistakes takes some tact, especially for complex cases. You will need to respond quickly because some of the response times to notices are short, and if you don't respond in time, the mistake may continue to trigger subsequent notices based on the incorrect information. When you respond, you will need to use any documentation you have to support your points. The response may trigger an appeals process that could result in a hearing. Contact a California tax attorney to help you work through these complex problems and prevent unnecessary financial harm.