Get frustrated when dealing with all the tidbits of data demanded when it comes to filing your taxes? Better suck it up and give the IRS the correct information. Why? The IRS has crosschecks in place for just about every fact the taxpayer provides on all the various forms necessary for compliance. When the facts and figures you put on your returns and other filings don’t match those that the IRS has obtained from other sources regarding you or your business, flags start flying, and that’s a surefire path to an audit.
So before launching your filing on its merry way to the hallowed halls of the IRS, do what other hapless – and now indebted – taxpayers have failed to do:
- Verify due dates of the filing in question. Don’t take for granted that the date you signed the filing is sufficient proof that you remitted it in time. The IRS looks at the postage stamp date, not the date of your signature, for verification that you filed on schedule.
- Be sure that you’ve made the associated required payment for the filing by the deadline. If you used the Electronic Federal Payment System (“EFPS”), print out a receipt and attach it to your copy of the filing. If you mail a check, be sure that you’ve included the correct amount in numbers as well as words, be sure to sign the check, and denote where the money should be applied (i.e., Form 1040 – 2017.
- If you’re working on your tax return, double- and triple-check your numbers involving income, including what’s reported for wages, tips, compensation, dividends, early withdrawals from retirement accounts, and so forth. The IRS compares your Forms 1099s and W-2s to those submitted to the IRS by the payer. If the figures don’t match, you may be headed for an audit.
- Keep receipts for every deduction you plan to take. If you can’t back it up, you shouldn’t claim it.
- If you have a bookkeeper or an accountant for your business, don’t just sign IRS Forms 940s and 941s without review, assuming that they are correct. These are the forms for reporting withholdings and liability for employee taxes, and the IRS levies heavy fines on employers who are careless with them. In some cases, you might be held personally responsible for liability arising from incomplete, incorrect, or late filings and payments.
- Confirm that your social security and other tax identification numbers are accurate.
- Review the filing a “final time,” then a third, fourth, and fifth time before pushing that filing through the mail slot for pick-up.
Of course, there are going to be times that, no matter how careful you are, slip-ups will happen. Then give Law Offices of Christy Lee, P.C., a call, so that we can help you get on your feet again.
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